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New arrangements for local health emergency preparedness, resilience and response (EPRR) will commence from 1 April 2013 as part of changes the Health and Social Care Act 2012 makes to the health system.
A key feature of the new arrangements is the formation of Local Health Resilience Partnerships (LHRPs). The Department of Health (DH) has published a letter and resource pack which provides information to support the roll out of LHRPs.
LHRPs will provide strategic forums for joint planning for emergencies for the new health system and will support the health sector’s contribution to multi-agency planning through LRFs (Local Resilience Fora). They are not statutory organisations and accountability for emergency preparedness and response remains with individual organisations.
The new system will offer benefits including:
- a more consistent approach across England, permitting better understanding of health preparedness at LRF level and nationally
- leadership of planning at a senior level with a focus on cross-agency preparedness
- opportunity for better integration between health and local government emergency planning
The materials have been co-produced by the NHS, HPA, Public Health and DH with advice from key stakeholders in local government and the wider resilience community. They comprise:
- a summary of the principal EPRR roles for health sector organisations
- a model terms of reference for LHRPs
- a model concept of operations for LHRPs
The NHS Commissioning Board Authority (NHS CBA) will lead the roll out of LHRPs for each LRF area, working with the local health community, local government and LRFs. Further information and guidance will be provided shortly.
System assurance of the new response arrangements will be provided through a series of four regionally based exercises in the North, Midlands and East, the South and London between November 2012 and March 2013. These exercises will involve multi-agency partners and plans are currently under development.