Our emergency planning activities were the focus of a special visit on Tuesday (3 July).

Stephen Groves, National Lead for Emergency Planning, and Andy Wapling, Regional Head of Emergency Preparedness Resilience and Response (EPRR), who both work for NHS England and NHS Improvement, visited the Trust to find out how we plan for, and respond to, a wide range of incidents and emergencies that could affect health, patient care or the operation of the Trust.

The visit, which took place at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, was prompted by the Trust being rated fully compliant under NHS England’s EPRR Framework for the 5th year running.

John Weeks, Head of Emergency Planning and Response, spoke about the annual live training exercises we host with partner agencies such as Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) and South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and the work he and his team carry out behind the scenes so they are fully prepared for emergency situations.

The end of the visit was marked by HM Coastguard landing its helicopter on the hospital’s helipad and the crew talking to Mr Groves and Mr Wapling about how they work with our Emergency Planning and Response Team and take part in our training exercises.

Mr Wapling said: “I really enjoyed hearing from John about the work he and his team have been involved with and how they work with partner agencies in the area.

“It’s clear the Trust takes EPRR extremely seriously.”

Sean Briggs, MTW NHS Trust’s Chief Operating Officer who is the Board Lead for Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR), and Simon Hart, Director of Workforce, also attended the meeting.

Mr Briggs said: “This is the first time representatives from NHS England and NHS Improvement have visited the Trust to find out about our emergency planning which is deemed best practice.

“It was a fantastic opportunity for us to reveal the great work that John Weeks and his team undertake to ensure we are best placed to deal with emergency situations.

“Both Stephen and Andy seemed impressed by what we had to say about what we do here and hopefully that information will be passed on to other Trusts in the country to learn from.”