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Help is at Hand!. Sarah Webb Regional HEPA East Midlands June 2009. Health Protection Agency. - Arms length body of the Dept of Health Category 1 responder under the CCA An ‘expert’ body not a body of experts! Local Health Protection Units Local incident response Infectious diseases

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help is at hand

Help is at Hand!

Sarah Webb

Regional HEPA East Midlands

June 2009

health protection agency
Health Protection Agency
  • - Arms length body of the Dept of Health
  • Category 1 responder under the CCA
  • An ‘expert’ body not a body of experts!
  • Local Health Protection Units
    • Local incident response
    • Infectious diseases
    • Proactive health protection work with range of stakeholders
specialist centres and divisions
Specialist Centres and Divisions
  • Centre for Infections – Colindale
  • Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response – Porton
  • Chemical Hazards and Poisons – Chilton and regionally based teams
  • Radiation Protection Division – Chilton and Leeds
hpa in emergencies
HPA in Emergencies
  • Category 1 responder
  • Primary role is to provide health protection advice and support to NHS and other responders but increasingly an operational role in response as well.
  • Infectious diseases
slide8
STAC
  • Scientific and Technical Advice Cell
  • Called in a major incident with complex or serious health implications it provides a mechanism to bring together all the relevant experts to provide a single source of advice.
stac guidance to local responders april 2007
STAC Guidance to local responders – April 2007
  • Replaces the HAT [JHAC]
  • Sits within the Strategic Co-ordinating Centre where there is a need for co-ordinated scientific and technical advice to support the response and advise the Gold Commander – useful to see this as part of gold command arrangements
  • Normally activated by the Police Gold – RDPH or HPA Regional Director may also recommend its formation
  • Covers non-terrorist incidents as well as CBRN
role of the stac
Role of the STAC
  • Provides a common source of technical advice to Gold [pool information and provide a common view on the merits of different courses of action]
  • Monitor and corral the responding scientific and technical community to deliver on Gold’s objectives
  • Provides a common brief to the technical lead from each agency represented on the cell
  • Liaise with national specialist advisers and their agencies to ensure consistent advice locally and nationally
composition
Cell lead – DPH

Secretariat/staff officer support

Gold liaison

Relevant emergency services technical advisers [HAZMAT etc.]

HPA

EA

FSA

HSE

Local Authority EHP

Met Office

Other Government Departments e.g. DEFRA

Utilities

Site Operators reps [COMAH sites]

Comms rep

GDS

Composition
activation
Activation
  • RDPH has the strategic responsibility. This is discharged in the East Midlands by the HPA – single point for activation in the region supplemented by local arrangements with each LRF
  • Requests from Police Gold or RDPH etc to be phoned directly to HPA 24/7 number 07092 980004
hpa role in activation
HPA role in activation
  • Signpost the availability of immediate scientific and health advice if necessary
  • Identify the cell lead who will in most circumstances be a Director of Public Health
  • Work with the cell lead to identify appropriate membership of STAC for the incident
  • Contact regional and national STAC members in the initial phase of STAC
  • Co-ordinate early meetings and teleconferencing. It is anticipated that the first STAC meeting would be a teleconference [for acute incidents set up within 1 hour - although this is unlikely to be a full STAC membership]
  • Provide staff officer support to the cell lead for the initial meetings – PCT to take this over?
roles in a stac
Roles in a STAC
  • Deputy Chair [or Chair] {NHS HPA}
  • STAC Manager {HPA NHS EA}
  • STAC Administrator {HPA NHS EA}
  • STAC member - technical and scientific
  • This role can also be fulfilled by those from a range of organisations
lrf responsibilities
LRF Responsibilities
  • Contact arrangements for local STAC members [Local Authority, Fire, etc.]
  • Each agency will need to consider general admin support [loggists] to the STAC. Out of hours this may be dependant on availability of volunteers
  • Suitable venue and support facilities including refreshments etc.
  • Gold liaison officer
further considerations
Further considerations
  • Further national guidance being prepared – looking at competencies for key staff and training
  • Early advice – 1 hour from the first request
  • Cadre of trained individuals with opportunities to exercise
  • Role in supporting recovery – membership may change during the course of an incident
how will we know
How will we know?
  • Acute or ‘big bang’ incidents – links through the blue light services
  • Set of triggers agreed with Fire and Rescue Services
    • Large fires, chemical incidents, radiation incidents
  • Police Gold or SCG
  • ‘Slow burn’ incidents
  • Chronic incidents – land contamination
  • Public health route and/or HPA advice
pressures of working in a stac
Pressures of working in a STAC
  • Information poor – be proactive!
  • Time critical
  • Working environment may be less than ideal
  • May need to run extended hours or 24/7 – handover is vital
  • ‘Battle rhythm’ – SCG meetings
  • Police liaison officer provides a key link to the SCG
  • Records management – rules of evidence
in summary
In summary
  • HPA has a key role in incident response for emergencies affecting health and local authorities EHP’s are likely to be part of that response. In particular in a STAC.
  • Multi-agency response networks – Local Resilience Forum is a vital links between all of us
  • STAC participant training sessions in each county to be run by the HPA
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