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The 21st century has already seen parts of the NHS put under major stress due to the terrorist attacks of 7/7, the potential avian and swine flu pandemics, and the challenges of extreme hot and cold weather. Healthcare organisations need to adopt a different approach if they are to cope with mass casualty incidents where a surge in demand for services may be compounded by factors such as loss of infrastructure and shortage of essential supplies (DoH, 2007).

Both planning and operational response activities must place a premium on cooperation between organisations, including work with agencies from other sectors. The police for example, may have to enforce quarantining measures during a pandemic, or protect healthcare facilities if they are threatened by a terrorist attack. Within the NHS itself, hospitals may need to assist each other in order to enable access to sufficient capacity for critical care, operating theatres, suitably trained staff and drugs. Crises such as pandemics are not confined within national borders, necessitating international coordination between governments and agencies on activities such as disease surveillance and allocation of scarce resources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Interesting Times University of Manchester.pdf3.83 MB
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