Too many cooks? : the response of the health-related services to major incidents in London Public Deposited

  • 1870607325
Place of publication
  • London
  • King's Fund Institute
Publication date
  • 1992
  • 15
  • 44
  • King's Fund Institute research report
  • A major incident is a high profile event which places the emergency services in the spotlight of public attention. It typically involves a number of autonomous agencies working together in hostile conditions. Some of these individuals will be working in an unfamiliar environment for the first time. Many lives are at stake. For these reasons it is important that the response is well planned and co-ordinated, thus retaining the public's confidence in the emergency services whilst efficiently responding to those in need. However, there is no single body looking at the delivery of health services as a whole in London. Accident and Emergency consultants in the capital felt that this absence of London-wide planning was also affecting the response of the emergency services to major incidents. This report investigates the organisation of the health-related response to such incidents. It is based on a review of the literature over the past fifteen years and interviews with key individuals with experience of major incident planning and response. Five of the most recent major incidents are analysed in detail: the King's Cross Underground fire; the Clapham, Purley and Cannon street rail crashes; and the Marchioness riverboat sinking. Three important difficulties emerged in relation to the response to these incidents: 1) a large number of autonomous bodies typically become involved leading to problems of co-ordination; 2) occasionally there is over-provision of medical care at the scene of major incidents; 3) relationships between the political `centre' and agencies involved in the response causes difficulties. The report makes three short-term and four long-term recommendations to overcome these difficulties.
  • Pagination: 44p.
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