Contingency planning in social care: guidance

June 14, 2018

The Care Provider Alliance, whose members represent the independent and voluntary organisations which provide adult social care services in England, has published some practical guidance to help providers with contingency planning in social care.

The guidance Developing Contingency Plans for Adult Social Care Services has been developed as part of a work programme funded by the Department of Health and Social Care.

The guide explores contingency planning on social care around the following issues:

  • Pandemic flu.
  • IT failure.
  • Severe adverse weather.
  • Major local incident due to terrorism, civil disturbance, industrial accident etc.
  • Severe heatwave.
  • Utility failure.
  • Problems with buildings and equipment.
  • National fuel shortage.
  • Supplier failure.
  • Financial problems.
  • Quality problems.

It also contains points for general consideration, what to do if you have to evacuate, suspend or close a service at short notice, business continuity management and useful appendices.

Bridget Warr CBE, Chair of the Care Provider Alliance’s Programme Board, said, 'From exceptionally bad weather, a fuel shortage or a pandemic, to financial or quality problems, there are many circumstances that can disrupt services provided by the adult social care sector.

'This guide has been written to help independent and voluntary providers develop plans to ensure continuity of care if a problem occurs.

'It’s a concise, informal document, with links to more detailed information. We hope that it will raise awareness and provide an easy guide to an increasingly important aspect of our work.'

Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission said, 'I know from CQC’s work with people who use services, their families and carers just how important continuity of care is. If services cannot continue for whatever reason people may not receive vital medication, be left in distressing situations, become anxious or have to move home suddenly.

'I commend this excellent guidance to the sector as good contingency planning is vital to make sure these risks are avoided or mitigated.'

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