Emergency Health Planning

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Emergency Health Planning

R&D needs regarding Emergency Planning in Health Care: A Scoping Study

Project Start Date: 1st September 2010

Project End Date: 31st August 2011


The 21st century has already seen substantial changes in the way in which the UK and other countries plan for and manage emergencies. There have been a number of iconic events such as the terrorist outrages of 9/11 and 7/7, plus challenges arising from climate change, from potential pandemics, and from failures arising from the ever increasing complexity of society. These have focused attention on the need to be prepared for major events that have outcomes across all domains, including almost inevitably health care. In addition to changes in the pattern, type and scale of emergency, in the case of health care there is a continual development of triaging criteria and treatment regimes as medical knowledge and skills advance. Thus there are continual pressures to reflect upon, evaluate and improve emergency planning, response and recovery.

Aims and Objectives

The project will conduct a state of the art review of emergency preparedness in health care, drawing in learning and experiences from local, regional, national and international contexts, including non-health crises with healthcare consequences. The review will identify where there may be a need for change, or to develop new approaches and practices. It will also produce a prioritised research and development agenda for addressing these issues.


The project will:

* Conduct a systematic literature review covering both academic research and professional practice;

* Conduct interviews with a range of stakeholders to gather a variety of relevant perspectives;

* Examine documentary evidence gathered in debriefing several past events;

* Identify and explore in much greater depth responses to three or four major events and issues, building detailed case studies;

* Analyse all these to identify a list of potential gaps and R&D needs;

* Run a prioritisation workshop to rank these in importance.


In addition to a report of the research findings, articles will also be published in professional and academic journals. A proposal has been submitted to run a discussion session at the 8th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM 2011), which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, May 8-11, 2011.

Research Team

The project is co-ordinated by Manchester Business School. It brings together a strong team led by two academics with great experience in emergency planning, management and recovery across the world.

* Simon French, Professor of Information and Decision Sciences, MBS (Principal Investigator)

* Duncan Shaw, Professor of Operational Research and Critical Systems and Director of the Aston CRISIS Centre, Aston University.

* Alan Boyd, Research Associate in Healthcare and Public Sector Management, MBS.

* Naomi Chambers, Professor of Health Policy and Management, MBS.

* Russell King, Emergency Planning Liaison Officer, The Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust.

* Gill Harris, Director of Nursing and Performance at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.

Project Advisory Group

The research will be guided by an advisory group, with members drawn from the Department of Health; national, regional and local bodies concerned with emergency planning in health care; operational managers; other emergency response domains; and UK and European academia. Members of the advisory group will be listed here when they have been confirmed.

Funding £124,040 from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Service Delivery and Organisation (SDO) programme (project number 09/1005/01).