Intended for healthcare professionals


Are British hospitals ready for the next major incident? Analysis of hospital major incident plans

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 16 November 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1242
  1. Simon Carley, Royal College of Surgeons of England Hillsborough research fellowa,
  2. Kevin Mackway-Jones, consultanta
  1. a Department of Emergency Medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester M13 9WL
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Carley.
  • Accepted 26 September 1996

Although major incidents are uncommon, they require careful planning and preparation if they are to be managed well.1 2 In 1990 guidelines were issued for health service arrangements for major incidents.2 These required regional health authorities to ensure that comprehensive plans were in place for all health service responses to an incident. We examined hospital major incident plans to assess the level of compliance with these guidelines.

Methods and results

The major incident plan was requested from all 224 British hospitals with an emergency department receiving more than 30 000 patients a year. Altogether 142 (63%) were received and analysed. The number of plans complying with different aspects of current guidance are shown in table 1.

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Table 1

Number of …

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