Preparing for Emergencies- Guidance For Health Boards in Scotland

The document provides strategic guidance for Health Board Chief Executives and NHS Senior Managers on fulfilling their obligations under the Civil Contingencies 2004 and other key legislation underpinning emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

Appendix 9

Glossary Of Terms

Primary Term Definition
Business Continuity Management A management process that helps manage risks to the smooth running of an organisation or deliver of a service, ensuring that it can operate to the extent required in the event of a disruption.
Business Continuity Strategic and tactical capability of an organisation to plan for and respond to incidents and business disruptions in order to continue business operations at an acceptable predefined level.
Capability A demonstrable ability to respond to and recover from a particular threat or hazard.
Civil Contingencies Risks to civilian health, safety and property from emergencies as defined in the Civil Contingencies Act (2004).
Community Risk Register A Register communicating the assessment of risks within a Local Resilience Area which is developed and published as a basis for informing local communities and directing civil protection workstreams.
Competences Competences include the knowledge, judgment, skills, energy, experience and motivation required to respond adequately to the demands of one's professional responsibilities.
Decontamination Removal or reduction of hazardous materials to lower the risk of further harm to victims and/or cross contamination.
Emergency An event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place in the UK, the environment of a place in the UK, or the security of the UK or of a place in the UK.
Emergency Powers Last-resort option for responding to the most serious of emergencies where existing powers are insufficient, and additional powers are enacted under part 2 of the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) and elsewhere.
Emergency Preparedness The extent to which emergency planning enables the effective and efficient prevention, reduction, control and mitigation of, and response to emergencies.
Exercise A simulation designed to validate organisations' capability to manage incidents and emergencies. Specifically exercises will seek to validate training undertaken and the procedures and systems within emergency or business continuity plans.
Hazmat Abbreviation for hazardous materials although it is commonly used in relation to procedures, equipment and incidents involving hazardous materials. HAZMAT incidents are not treated as terrorist incidents yet can require a similar NHS response.
Health Risk State Section 14 (7) of the Public Health etc. (Scotland) Act 2008 defines a 'health risk state' as (a) a highly pathogenic infection; or (b) any contamination, poison or other hazard which is a significant risk to public health.
Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974 Primary legislation covering occupational health and safety in the United Kingdom. The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for enforcing the Act and a number of other Acts and Statutory Instruments relevant to the working environment.
Hot Zone Zone of the highest level of contamination.
Humanitarian Assistance Centre Assistance centre established following an emergency to cater for the medium and longer term need of people affected by an emergency.
Incident Event of situation that requires a response from the emergency services or other responders.
Integrated Emergency Management Multi-agency approach to emergency management entailing five key activities - assessment, prevention, preparation, response and recovery.
Internal Incidents An organisation may be affected by its own internal major incident (e.g. fire, equipment failure, violent crime) or by an external incident (e.g. utilities failure) that impairs its ability to function normally, impacting on staff morale and public confidence. These incidents should be covered in a Business Continuity Plan. However, where there is no resolution in the short term, the end result would be the declaration of a major incident.
Lockdown The process of controlling the movement and access - both entry and exit - of people (NHS staff, patients and visitors) around a site or building/area in response to an identified risk, threat or hazard that might impact upon the security of patients, staff and assets or, indeed, the capacity of that facility to continue to operate. A lockdown is achieved through a combination of physical security measures and the deployment of security personnel.
Major Incident Scenarios

Cloud on the horizon : Where an incident in one place may impact on others afterwards. Preparatory action is needed in response to an evolving threat elsewhere, even perhaps overseas, such as a major chemical or nuclear release, a dangerous epidemic or an armed conflict.

Slow burner: Where a problem creeps up gradually, such as occurs in a developing infectious disease epidemic. There is no clear starting point for the major incident and the point at which an outbreak becomes 'major' may only be clear in retrospect, e.g. Pandemic Flu. Long term resilience or business continuity of NHS Services is a key issue.

Headline news: Where a wave of public or media alarm ensues over a health issue, such as a reaction to a perceived threat. This may create a major incident for health services even if the fears prove unfounded. The issues itself may be minor in terms of actual risk to the population. It is the urgent need to manage information that creates the major incident.

Big bang: A health service major incident is typically triggered by a sudden major transport or industrial accident. What may not be so obvious at first, however, are the wider implications. A major incident may build slowly from a series of smaller incidents such as traffic/transport accidents or explosions.

Also see CBRN, HAZMAT, Internal Incidents, and Mass Casualties

Mass Casualty Incident An incident (or series of incidents) causing casualties on a scale that is beyond the normal resources of the emergency services.
Mutual Aid An agreement between organisations, within the same sector or across sectors and across boundaries, to provide assistance with additional recourse during an emergency.
Preparedness Process of preparing to deal with known risks and unforeseen events or situations that have potential to result in an emergency.
Recovery The process of rebuilding, restoring and rehabilitating the community following an emergency.
Resilience Ability to detect, prevent, and, if necessary to withstand, handle and recover from disruptive challenges and sustain an acceptable level of function, structure and identity. A robust civil contingencies planning process is a key factor in establishing resilience.
Risk Assessment A structured and auditable process of identifying potentially significant events, assessing their likelihood and impacts, and then combining these to provide an overall assessment of risk, as a basis for further decisions and action.
Science and Technical Advice Cell Group of technical experts from those agencies involved in an emergency response that may provide scientific and technical advice to the LRP/RRP chair or single service fold commander.
Regional Resilience Partnerships (RRP) and Local Resilience Partnerships (LRP) RRPs and LRPs are the principal arenas for multi-agency cooperation in civil protection at local level. They have a key role in both preparation and response to emergencies.
Syndromic Surveillance Syndromic Surveillance is the real time (or near real time) collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of health related data to enable early identification of impact or absence of impact of potential human or veterinary threats which require effective public health action.


Email: NHSScotland Resilience Unit

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