Critical care areas are high users of drugs, power, and consumables, and are dependent on high levels of staffing. This makes normal operation highly vulnerable to interruptions in supplies, infrastructure, or staffing. Recent examples of the benefits of business continuity planning tt include; an earthquake in Italy which could have affected CVVH consumables and a mains power supply issue to one site in North West London.
Unit managers and senior staff should consider, and develop a checklist, for scenarios such as:
- Supply chain disruption (road/fuel crisis, extreme weather, industrial action or civil disturbance)
- Infrastructure failures (intermittent power cuts or 'brownouts', failure of water or heating)
- Interruption of normal staffing patterns (e.g. transport disruption, school closures)
Checklists should include:
- Which drugs and consumables would run out first if supplies are disrupted for 1 day? 2 days? A week?
- Essential equipment and possible alternatives?
- What are the Trust and unit contingency plans for prolonged power or other infrastructure failure?
- How will the unit flex to cope with absent staff or delayed shift changes?