Open Access Article

Title: Healthcare emergency planning and management to major hazards in the UK

Authors: Nebil Achour; Federica Pascale; Robby Soetanto; Andrew D.F. Price

Addresses: Loughborough University, Ashby Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK ' School of Civil Engineering, Loughborough University, Ashby Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK ' School of Civil Engineering, Loughborough University, Ashby Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK ' School of Civil Engineering, Loughborough University, Ashby Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK

Abstract: This study aims to examine the challenges and opportunities UK healthcare emergency planners and responders have to cope with major hazards. The study followed a qualitative research methodology where data was collected from a comprehensive literature review, an international workshop and interviews. The findings established that the UK healthcare emergency planning process needs to: consider the integration of soft and hard resources in planning; involve independent experts for further support; and use IT systems innovatively to develop a comprehensive emergency model, predict vulnerabilities and optimise effectiveness and efficiency. The major recommendations are to: identify and evaluate risks more accurately; enhance opportunities and reduce risks associated with multiagency approaches; ensure that soft and hard resources are well integrated in planning; involve and integrate more with independent parties such as academia for extra support; and innovatively use IT systems to develop a comprehensive emergency model, predict vulnerabilities and optimise operability.

Keywords: healthcare emergency planning; healthcare emergency management; UK; United Kingdom; major hazards; major emergencies; infrastructure; effectiveness optimisation; efficiency optimisation; multi-agency collaboration; resource integration; independent experts; vulnerabilities; risk assessment; healthcare management; healthcare planning; IT systems; information technology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2015.069514

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2015 Vol.11 No.1, pp.1 - 19

Available online: 20 May 2015 *