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How a major incident plan can be used in an acute healthcare setting
  1. Seth Makin1,
  2. L Smith2 and
  3. K McDevitt2
  1. 1 Army Medical Services, Camberley, UK
  2. 2 London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Seth Makin, Army Medical Services, Camberley, UK; smakin{at}


All NHS Trusts face a diverse range of potential threats and disruptions that can overwhelm the delivery of their routine healthcare services. Major incidents range from significant infrastructure failure to responding to significant casualty numbers from natural disasters and malicious incidents. Major incident plans are one of the body of documents that support trusts and in this instance acute NHS trusts in emergency preparedness. Major incident plans can be used as a reference point for staff of all disciplines, that is, clinical and non-clinical. Major incident plans incorporate the requirements of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 for NHS-funded providers to ensure trusts conduct risk assessments, emergency planning, cooperating with other organisations, and internal and external communication. This paper summarises some of the key aspects in the construction and the use of major incident plans in acute care trusts.

  • organisation of health services
  • risk management

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  • Contributors All authors have contributed to this article. SM is the lead author and coordinated the final edit. KMD reviewed the majority of the article, provided much information for the whole article and suggested significant edits, most of which have been adopted. LS added most of the Awareness of Major Incident Preparedness section and reviewed and suggested multiple edits, most of which have been adopted. Each draft has been either written, edited or had edits adopted by SM.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement There are no original quantitative or qualitative data.

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