We have reviewed our winter assurance plan, as well as our adverse weather plan, to ensure we are as well prepared as we can be. All departments have reviewed their business continuity plans and our senior operational team are working with each department to ensure plans are robust.
Some specific actions we have taken ahead of this winter are:
- Trained Water and Flood Incident Managers in response to an increased flood risk
- Operational and Strategic plan has been reviewed and updated
- Use of the Everbridge mass communication system to warn of incidents such as severe weather
- Daily Met Office Weather Warnings via Resilience and Special Operations (RSO) Team
- Mobile Command Support Team (4×4 capable)
- Represented in Local Resilience Forum Executive Winter Planning Groups
- Deployed 25 new 4×4 vehicles (Team Leaders, RSO and Spare)
NHS England independently assesses these plans across all NHS providers to evaluate preparedness for winter and this process also involves us attending regional calls five times a week to provide updates on all aspects of our service delivery including PTS, 111 and 999.
We are anticipating this winter being very challenging, not only due to adverse weather but also due to the pressure on the health and social care system which has been widely reported for some time now.
We have also extended recruitment and retention premium payments and have introduced additional welfare support to provide more psychological support for staff.
These are just some of the initiatives we have been working through. We will continue to review what is working, not working and what more we can do throughout winter and adjust our plans as required.