Preparing for Emergencies Guidance

This guidance provides advice, considerations, and support from a strategic lens for Health Boards to effectively prepare for emergencies in compliance with relevant legislation.

Document Control

Document Title

Preparing For Emergencies: Guidance for Health Boards in Scotland

Owner & contact details

Scottish Government, Health (EPRR)

2ER, St. Andrews House,

1 Regent Road, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG

Scottish Government Sponsor Department

Directorate for Chief Operating Officer, NHS Scotland

Publication Date

November 2023

Review Date

October 2026

eRDM Ref


Reader Information Box

Target audience

NHS Chief Executives Directors of Public Health

NHS Executive Leads for Resilience NHS Resilience Officers

Integration Joint Boards

Health and Social Care Partnerships Chief Officers

Regional Resilience Partnerships (RRP) Co-ordinators

Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates

Relevant NHS Professional Colleges and representative bodies

Document Purpose

To provide strategic guidance for NHS Scotland Chief Executives and NHS Leaders on preparing for emergencies.


An updated version of the 2013 Guidance of the same name, designed to support NHS preparations for emergencies by offering guidance on the implementation of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and other relevant legislation.

Divided into eight sections: two of which set the context, and the others more specifically address developing capability for specific incidents and care for people affected by incidents. Contains appendices to support planning processes.

Superseded Documents

Preparing for Emergencies: Guidance for Health Boards in Scotland (2013) ISBN: 978-1-78256-874-2 and Annex: Equalities, Human Rights and Resilience Planning

Action Required

Health Boards should follow this guidance to develop organisational plans for emergency preparedness and capability.



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