Avian Flu - NHS issues updated advice amidst rising concern

World Health Organisation and NHS officials have reviewed the current guidance and produced a simplified guide to the issues and the potential effects.

What's Holding BC Back?

Confronting the Conundrums of Business Continuity by Jon William Toigo

In government and business, there continues to be more discussion than doing in the realm of disaster recovery and business continuity. One hears a lot of talk about "10/12" - the next 9/11 - which everyone from the familiar crepe hangers and doomsayers to the most heads-in-the-clouds pollyannas agrees is more or less inevitable.

Add to that the weather-related disaster potentials that NASA weather models predict will worsen this year, the well-documented vulnerabilities of aging power and telecommunications infrastructures, and ongoing problems in information technology that range from poor interoperability standards to improved malware and hacking techniques, and you have a confluence of threats that could best be described as the Perfect Storm.

Government extends CCA responsibility to Strategic Health Authorities

 The Act splits local responders into two categories, imposing a different set of duties on each. Category 1 responders are those organisations at the core of emergency response (e.g. emergency services, local authorities, Primary Care Trusts), and are subject to the full range of civil protection duties.

UK Health Departments reveal Pandemic Plan

UK public health experts have unveiled their plans to deal with an Avian Flu Pandemic in the face of rising concern over this serious health threat in Asia.

The Government has also announced the purchase of over a million doses of vaccine, which to be used primarily for Key Workers. These steps coincide with increased reports and concern from the World Health Organisation concerning Avian Flu.

Taking Centre Stage

As part of the overall provision of UK civil protection Local Authorities, Emergency Services and parts of the NHS (Category 1 responders) in England and Wales are now required by law to have established effective business continuity management. They must ensure they can continue to perform their functions in the event of an emergency.

This relates to all the functions of a Category 1 responder, not just its civil protection functions. In order to help others in the event of an emergency, they first need to be able to keep their own crisis response capabilities going.

Think Tank says "US lacks adequate financial protection from Terror Acts", but its the UK too!

The terrorism insurance system in the United States is failing to provide businesses with adequate financial protection, leaving the nation vulnerable to economic disruption if there is a major terrorist attack, according to a RAND Corporation study issued earlier this week.


The Government remains on track to bring the bulk of the duties in Part 1 of the Act fully into force in November 2005.

Implementation timetable

The Act requires the Government to seek the consent of the National Assembly for Wales to the revised package of Regulations and statutory guidance and to consult the Scottish Executive; this process will take place during May and June. The Government has worked closely with colleagues in all of the devolved administrations throughout the policy development process, and do not expect to make substantial further changes to the documents. Local responders should therefore continue to drive forward their implementation programmes using the revised draft Regulations and statutory guidance published today as the basis for this work.

Self Assessment Toolkit for the Public Sector

National Audit Office lauches Self Assessment tools for Local Authorities

The Civil Contingencies Act supports the promotion of greater resilience among public agencies and the wider local community.

The Act makes now an appropriate time for authorities to review current arrangements. It promotes business continuity as well as emergency planning, recognising that preparedness is an issue for the whole local authority and the businesses within the area. There is no preferred structure for delivering the services covered by the bill. Much will depend on local issues (for example local hazards such as the number of COMAH sites; the internal arrangements of the local authority regarding risk management and links between emergency planning, risk and business continuity arrangements.)

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