Business Continuity, where is yours?

I work in St. Asaph, as the practice manager for Pen-y-Bont surgery, a practice with three partners and 5500 patients; I started the job in January 2012. I thought the partners were a bit nuts giving me the job at first, no NHS background and I’d not ever heard of QOF or ISMS or LDs or EMIS. I think my presentation at interview nailed it, I threw in a few ‘doctor jokes’, like the one about the patient who kept imagining he was covered in gold, don’t worry it’s just a gilt complex said the GP…….hard to resist huh?

I worked hard, really hard. I was very fortunate to have landed into an amazing team from the admin team right through to the nurses and partners. They were always on hand to answer all my questions from what do we calibrate, do we have a recall system to where is the key to change the loo roll? When it came to completing the annual ISMS in May, I knuckled down, studying each question thoroughly and when I got to the question about the business continuity plan, it would have been easy to just tick the yes box as we did have one but it was out of date. I do remember fleetingly thinking, when are we every going to us this?? I worked through it over a few days. I emailed it to myself. I thought nothing more of it.

7.45am I call Karen who works on reception to tell her guiltily that I can’t come in. My boy is still on first name terms with the toilet bowl. “Are you ok?” I ask. “Fine”, she says. “Though I am the only one in so far”, she says. Odd, I thought.

8am – my daughter goes out to school, 8.10am my daughter comes back in. “The buses are not running, flooding or something”, she says, elated at the thought of a day watching Friends instead of studying French.

8.15am – Karen rings me, her voice is shaky. “I’m worried”, she says. “There’s water coming through the door”. I feel a flutter of panic. I swear. Then I go into manager mode. “Try not to worry”, I say. I put the phone down and I worry. Within 6 hours Karen’s car, parked in the doctors car park, would be written off engulfed by water, 4 consulting rooms would be destroyed, 3 offices, a reception area and a waiting room would be trashed by the power of the river Elwy. On that day it rose by 17ft and caused pain, trauma and devastation to the population of St Asaph.

To read more, go to the FPM website here



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