Joint Committee on Draft Civil Contingencies Bill Minutes of Evidence

Letter from West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority

  Thank you for your letter to Strategic Health Authority chief executives of 23 July. Richard Jeavons has asked me to respond on his behalf.

  A number of meetings are planned in West Yorkshire over the next couple of weeks to consider the draft Bill, and I hope you will accept a more considered response once these discussions have taken place.

  However, my initial reaction is one of some concern at the proposal that the NHS will not be included as a Category 1 or Category 2 Responder. I think it important that the Bill should consider the various roles of the different categories of NHS organisation, including ambulance trusts, acute and mental health trusts, primary care trusts and strategic health authorities.

  I would argue that primary care trusts and ambulance trusts should be included in Category 1, and SHAs in Category 2. Acute trusts could clearly have a responsibility under Category 1, and mental health trusts may need to be considered Category 1 due to classification of inpatients but routinely should be Category 2.

  Also, the Regional Director of Public Health role as the Chief Medical Officer to the Region is not considered in the draft Bill, although this is an important role in the NHS response to major incidents.

  I hope you will find these initial views helpful, and will accept a more considered response in a few days time.

Anthony Kealy

Emergency Planning Lead

1 September 2003

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