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Presentation slides from the business continuity planning workshops - November 2020

On this page you can find the content of the presentation slide pack used at our business continuity workshops held in November 2020.

What is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and why do I need one?

It’s a contingency plan – for what you would do if something disrupts your services.

It’s particularly important in adult social care, because you can’t simply stop providing support to people who need it.

For this reason, it’s good for your business to have one anyway.

In addition, if you have a contract for adult social care services with the Council (or the NHS), we require you to have a business continuity plan.

Nationally, all providers are expected to review their business continuity plan ahead of this winter (given the additional risk of Covid-19) – this links to infection control grant

What does a BCP look like?

The general principles are the same but each BCP will look different, there is not a standard format.

If your organisation already has a BCP format, that’s fine.

There are useful tools at the Care Provider Alliance (CPA) website including guidance and a template.  For an example of what the BCP looks like (including RAG rating), please refer to the Business Continuity Plan template on the CPA website, at the link above.  

You do need to write your own plan, but the CPA materials are a good start – no template can ever be complete by itself, it needs to be tailored to your service.

Planning and mitigations

Mitigations = actions to avoid, reduce or manage any possible disruptions

  • Creating/updating your plan
    • Plan, do, review, revise
    • Who is responsible for reviewing your plan?
    • What could disrupt your service, and what are the biggest risks?
    • What are the mitigations?
    • Make sure staff know what to do (at least in summary, and where to access the plan)
    • Review regularly

Issues to consider

1.  Local networking adds to resilience

2.  Risks vary from service to service, even if they’re similar services provided by the same organisation

3.  Key information should ideally be available in more than one way or location

4.  In an emergency, you may need to share personal information to enable care and support to be maintained

5.  How to prioritise care

6.  Keep a record of actions and decisions

7.  During and after an emergency, keep thinking about the needs of your workforce

8.  Getting back to normal

Examples of risks to consider

1.  Infections – Covid-19 and flu, norovirus etc – Covid-19 is, of course, a major risk for this winter

  • Infection prevention and control
  • Staff shortages
  • Communication – with staff, residents and families
  • Links to Public Health England, local authorities and the NHS
  • Prioritising care for a short period of time
  • “Buddying up” and identified agencies for temporary staff where appropriate (not sharing staff across care homes)

2.  Issues relating to Brexit

  • Have all relevant staff applied for EU settlement scheme?
  • Information governance – check with main IT supplier as relevant
  • Don’t stockpile

3.  IT and data systems

  • What is your backup?
  • Can you access if not able to get into the office?
  • How would you manage if you couldn’t access internet or systems for 2-3 days?
  • How would you ensure continued compliance with GDPR?
  • How would you avoid leaving files in an insecure place?

4.  Severe adverse weather

  • How would a flood affect you?
  • How would local agencies know the needs of your service users in a flood?
  • What would you do in extreme cold weather – ice or snow?
  • How would you respond to an extreme heatwave?

5.  Major local incident – rare - terrorism, civil disturbance, industrial accident

  • Would this affect travelling?
  • How would you contact staff?
  • How would local public agencies know the needs of your service users?

6.  Utility failure

  • Loss of electricity, water or gas
  • Suggested to plan for loss or electricity of water for 48 hour period
  • Care homes should ideally have access to emergency generators, water supplies, alternative means of heating
  • Consider supplies of bottled water, blankets, food that doesn’t need cooking

7.  Problems with buildings and equipment

  • Evacuation routes and plans
  • Fire safety
  • Lift and other maintenance routines
  • Checking laundry and catering equipment, back-up plans for these

8.  Fuel shortages

  • Fuel supply is normally stable
  • Consider:
    • reducing the dependency of your organisation on fuel
    • reducing fuel usage during a fuel supply disruption 
    • improving the resilience of supply chains (not just fuel but other supplies the organisation needs to deliver its key products and services) and the organisation as a whole
    • reallocating resources to deliver only key products and services
    • effective communication with staff, customers, suppliers and other key stakeholders in advance of and during a fuel supply disruption.

9.  Supplier failure

  • Where appropriate, ask your suppliers if they have business continuity arrangements/what they are
  • Prudent to have alternative suppliers identified
  • Don’t stockpile
  • Do allow a little extra time for deliveries
  • Pharmacies might issue different medications
  • Consult with nutritionist and healthcare professionals when changing diets for people with specialist requirements

10.  Recruitment and retention problems

  • Recruit in good time
  • Link with regional and national schemes where appropriate – e.g. Every Day is Different, Skills for Care resources

11.  Financial problems

  • Keep finances under review
  • Recognise problems early on
  • Be clear on having sufficient ability to authorise costs during business continuity disruption

12.  Quality problems

  • Focus on always being able to ensure essential standards of safety and quality
  • Use national tools e.g. CQC’s Driving Improvement, Skills for Care and SCIE resources
  • Use local resources e.g. Care Market Development Team
  • Be open and honest


General points

  • Each service is different – not all risks will apply to yours
  • Make sure everyone knows how to access your plan
  • Keep the plan as straightforward as possible
  • Use online resources – there is a list in the CPA document

Thinking about evacuation plan

Including, but not limited to:

  • The need for as much support as possible to help people decide for themselves where to move to.
  • A pre-planned accessible location for people to go to in an immediate emergency.
  • Except in an immediate emergency, the need for time and help for people to pack before moving
  • If it might not be possible for people’s medication to be retrieved in an emergency evacuation, a plan that’s agreed in advance for how replacement medication can be obtained at short notice
  • A plan agreed in advance as to how care and medication records would be kept available, either through the transfer of paper records, or by IT systems that can be accessed from other locations
  • Consideration of urgent care needs, for example special diets, pressure mattresses or, if needed, security provided by locked doors or supervision

BCP checklist

1.  Does your plan say who is responsible for writing, maintaining and checking it; and how and when they will do so?

2.  Have you considered the various potential problems in this guide, how big a risk they could each pose to the operation of your service, and whether there are additional risks specific to your service or location?

3.  Have you listed actions to be taken in advance to minimise the likelihood of each of these problems occurring, and to make them less problematic if they did occur?

4.  Have you listed actions to be taken if each of these problems did occur?

5.  Have you decided where your plan will be stored, and in what format, and how you will ensure access to it in the various emergency situations you have considered? 

6.  If you had to close your service (and were able to) in one of these emergency situations, would you be able to access individual details listed 

7.  Does your plan include contact details for staff, the people you support and family members, or signposts to where that information would be available? 

8.  Have you included contact details for your utility suppliers; for key suppliers of things such as food, personal protective equipment and medication; for alternative suppliers; and for maintenance and IT companies?

Have you included the location of your main switches and stopcocks for water, 9.  electricity and gas; and details of where any emergency equipment is stored?

10.  Have you included contact details for Staffordshire County Council, and for other commissioners, the Care Quality Commission and local health services, including, where relevant, out of hours contact details?

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