Letter from the Office of the Strategic
I am replying on behalf of the 28 Strategic
Health Authorities (SHAs) to your letter dated 23 July asking
about the appropriateness or otherwise of the NHS not being named
as a Category 1 Responder in the Bill.
All NHS bodies have a specific role to play
in the event of an emergency as defined in Part 1 of the draft
Bill, and the NHS is obliged regularly to review its readiness
to comply with emergency planning measures. It is therefore of
some concern that the draft Bill does not adequately reflect the
current structure of the NHS nor its potential development.
The draft Bill in its current form makes reference
specifically to Ambulance Trusts being included as Category 1
Responders, and while the appropriateness of their inclusion is
not under dispute, we would suggest the list be extended to include:
Primary Care Trusts; and
Strategic Health Authorities.
Strategic Health Authorities, in particular,
have an important co-ordinating role in ensuring that local NHS
services respond in a timely and appropriate fashion.
Should legislation be passed enabling the creation
of Foundation Trusts they too would require specific inclusion.
In addition, we would support the inclusion
of the Health Protection Agency (HPS) as a Category 1 Responder.
The HPA's role includes:
advising the Government on public
health protection policies and programmes;
delivering services and supporting
the NHS and other agencies to protect people from infectious diseases,
poisons, chemical and radiological hazards;
responding to new threats to public
providing a rapid response to health
Although initially established as a Special
Health Authority, the status of the HPA may change as a result
of future legislation and would therefore need to be named specifically.
I hope these points are helpful; should you
require further input from this Office you are most welcome to
29 August 2003
1 Source-Health Protection Agency 2003. Back