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9.2 Business Continuity Procedure

This chapter was added to the manual in June 2013.


  1. Introduction
  2. Human Resources
  3. No Access/Limited Access to Building (Short Or Medium Term)
  4. Damage Or Loss Of Premises, Intruder
  5. Services
  6. Communications
  7. Transport
  8. Medical Emergency at Night
  9. Useful Telephone Numbers

1. Introduction

Breakaway is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing respite care for children and young people (CYP) ranging in age from 6 to 17 years.

The purpose of these procedures is to identify any possible unforeseen event that could have an impact on service delivery as well as develop an action plan which is effective and efficient so as to create minimal disruption.

The Breakaway Manager or one of the Managers/Assistant Managers of the Service for Children with Learning Difficulties & Disabilities (LDD) (herein referred to as the LDD Management Team) should be notified of all emergency situations that have a major impact on service delivery.  After notification of an emergency the Manager receiving the emergency notification will respond and assess the situation. If in their judgment the emergency has significantly wide ranging effects they will notify the Head of Service for Children with LDD who will determine whether or not it is necessary to notify the Director of Wellbeing.

Minor emergencies which have a minimum effect on service delivery should be dealt with as soon as possible. The Breakaway LDD Management Team should be notified as soon as possible to assess the impact of the emergency.

When necessary, emergency services such as Police, Total Gas, Southern Electricity Board and Thames Water must be notified as soon as possible to assess the impact of the emergency and to resolve the situation.

All Health & Safety procedures must be followed.

At all times consideration must be given to the potential pressure/impact on clients (CYP and their families) and staff. They should be informed of any emergency that has an impact on them receiving or providing a service. Priority must be given to families believed to be most 'at risk'/requiring front line services such as those on Child Protection Plans and/or in shared care arrangements.

All current staff are aware of these procedures and they will form part of the induction process for new staff.  A hard copy of these procedures will be kept in the Breakaway Policies and Procedures file which is kept in the main office and the Manager's office. The Policy can also be located in the Breakaway drive on the computer in the Policies and Procedures folder.

The Breakaway Manager and LDD Management Team hold an up to date record of staff addresses and telephone numbers. For confidential reasons and in line with Data Protection this information will not be included in this document.

These procedures will be reviewed annually.

Procedures will look at:

  1. Issues and problems that may interrupt or increase pressure on service delivery at Breakaway;
  2. Action Plan to minimise disruption should issues/problems occur;
  3. List of helpful telephone numbers.

2. Human Resources

Problem Emergency Plan
Severe level of illness e.g. Flu epidemic, food poisoning, Gastro-enteritis, infectious diseases
  • Use Breakaway staff/As and When Workers/Agency staff;
  • If sickness level is severe then consult with LDD Management Team. In exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to close the unit and send the C/YP home;
  • Environmental Health to be notified if sickness is due to a notifiable condition. RIDDOR Regulations accessed.
Number of staff leaving unexpectedly
  • Use As and When Workers/Agency staff in the interim;
  • Recruit staff in line with SBC recruitment processes;
  • If an appropriate staff/C/YP ratio cannot be maintained it may be necessary to reduce the number of C/YP residing at any one time, taking into account level of need and available staff resources.
Industrial Action - Unions call strike action
  • Breakaway Manager to be aware of non-Union members to cover;
  • Use As and When/Agency staff;
  • If an appropriate staff/C/YP ratio cannot be maintained, it may be necessary to reduce the number of C/YP residing at any one time, taking into account level of need and available staff resources.
Unable to get to work either short or medium term due to severe weather conditions, fuel shortages, major accident on roads, bus strike etc.
  • Re-arrange rota so staff who live locally and are able to walk in to work can cover if possible;
  • Use As and When/Agency staff;
  • If an appropriate staff/C/YP ratio cannot be maintained, it may be necessary to reduce the number of C/YP residing at any one time, taking into account level of need and available staff resources.
Night staff member fails to arrive for their shift
  • Make all attempt to contact expected staff member on mobile or any other telephone number available for them;
  • If Agency staff is expected contact Pertemps to see if they can contact staff member or send a replacement;
  • If still unable to contact staff member/there is no agency replacement, endeavor to cover the shift either by using staff already in the building (consider hours already worked Working Time Regulations 19), other Breakaway staff/As and When workers. Remember to take into consideration if there are C/YP in the building who require emergency medication for Epilepsy as if this is the case any staff would need to have completed the appropriate training;
  • Member of LDD Management Team to be informed of situation;
  • If unable to contact a Manager or arrange sufficient staff cover to ensure the safety of the C/YP, staff should ring EDT and seek advice;
  • If still unable to cover the shift it will be necessary to contact parents and arrange for the C/YP to be sent home.

3. No Access/Limited Access to Building (Short Or Medium Term)

Problem Emergency Plan
Major car accident blocking entrance
  • Ask emergency services attending accident how long it will take for accident to be cleared;
  • All families of C/YP expected to arrive or leave that day should be notified as it may be necessary to extend or delay stays.
Bomb alert
  • Remain calm and follow all instructions given by Police;
  • It may be necessary to evacuate the building and send C/YP home;
  • Families of C/YP due to arrive that day should be notified;
  • Staff due to arrive on shift should be notified and kept informed of the situation.
Suspicious mail packages
  • Inform Police and take all advice given e.g. move people away from suspicious item, evacuate building.
Infestation of pests e.g. wasps, rats
  • Contact Ecolab;
  • Isolate area and indicate ‘No Access’.

Useful Telephone Numbers

Emergency Services 999
Ecolab 0208 644050

4. Damage Or Loss Of Premises, Intruder

Problem Emergency Plan


  • Building burnt down;
  • Damage to building;
  • Records lost.
  • Initial assessment to determine the severity of damage to building;
  • If part of the building can be used then staff will make this as safe an environment as possible.  Health & Safety procedures should be adhered to such as fire alarms operational for staff to work in the building.  It may then be possible to offer a reduced service, in this case the C/YP will be prioritised according to need and the facilities and resources available;
  • Families of C/YP due to attend should be kept informed of the situation;
  • Staff should be kept informed of the situation;
  • Building to be restored to full functioning as soon as possible;
  • Contact IT re supplying replacement/temporary computer;
  • Contact BT should there be no telephone line.


  • Equipment damaged;
  • No toilet;
  • No water;
  • Unable to use central heating.
  • Initial assessment should be made as to the nature of the flooding
  • Water supply to be turned off and contact Interserve  immediately
  • Contact Thames Water if necessary
  • Assess risks to C/YP/staff using the building - toilets, risk of slipping etc.
  • If flooding is localised such as a bathroom then staff to be utilised to clear up the water
  • If unable to use the building then staff to follow procedures as set out for ‘Fire’.


  • Building vandalised.
  • Contact Police;
  • Assess damage to building and follow procedures set out as for ‘Fire’.


  • In grounds;
  • In building.
  • Secure all doors leading outside;
  • Contact Police - Take advice from the Police;
  • If situation allows take C/YP to Respond, only returning when Police say it is safe to do so;
  • If Police indicate that to resolve situation may take some time contact parents to come and collect their C/YP.

Useful Telephone Numbers

Police 999
Slough 101

5. Services

Problem Emergency Plan

Power cut resulting in:

  • No lights;
  • No alarms;
  • No IT system;
  • No landline telephone.
  • Mobile phone to be used;
  • Contact Southern Electricity Board;
  • In consultation with SEB assess how long the electricity will be off for;
  • REMEMBER - all doors leading outside will be unlocked;
  • If power cut is only for a short period during the day then it should be possible to continue as normal using equipment like battery hoist;
  • If power cut is at night or likely to be for a longer period of time, C/YP should be sent home in consultation with Breakaway Manager or Manager from LDD Management Team;
  • Families of C/YP due to attend should be notified and kept informed of the situation;
  • Ensure contingency arrangements for Fire Alarms - smoke alarms are battery powered so should detect smoke at an early stage.  Emergency Exit lighting and the emergency lights will come on automatically should there be a power failure.  However, this lasts only for approximately 3 hours.


  • Supply problems;
  • Gas leak.
  • Carbon monoxide alarm fitted;
  • Contact British Gas immediately;
  • If gas leak is suspected then all staff and C/YP should be evacuated from the building.  Respond (next door) should be used as an interim base;
  • If necessary follow procedure as for long term power cut.


  • No running water;
  • Unable to use toilets;
  • No water going into hot water tank;
  • Burst pipes.
  • Contact Interserve and/or Thames Water;
  • Turn heating off;
  • Determine likely duration of problem;
  • Make arrangements with Respond to use their toilets in the short term;
  • If long term follow arrangements as for long term power cut.


  • Temperature does not meet H & S regulations (16 Degrees Celsius);
  • No heating - cold building.
  • Contact Interserve as soon as possible;
  • If there is only loss of heating on one side of the building arrangements to be made to use the other side only. This may mean cancelling stays for some C/YP - in accordance with needs of the C/YP;
  • If repair cannot be made immediately to raise temperature of the building then follow arrangements to send C/YP home as for long term power cut.

Useful Telephone Numbers

Interserve 01753 875908
Emergency 0800 9151215
Southern Electric
Out of Hours
0845 0701699
08000 72 72 82 (drop first 0 if calling from a mobile)
National Grid
Emergency (Gas)
0800 111 999
Thames Water 0845 6410002
Respond 01753 570866

6. Communications

Problem Emergency Plan
  • Contact BT as soon as possible;
  • Use mobile phones;
  • Contact all parents providing them with temporary contact number (Breakaway mobile).
  • Contact BT;
  • Information to be e-mailed or sent in the post until fax operational.
  • Contact IT helpdesk

    Until email operational person to be contacted by telephone


  • Unable to access documents/records, ICS system;
  • No access to word processor so cannot type letters, reports, update paperwork etc.
  • Unable to print reports, information etc.
  • No email communication.
  • Contact IT Helpdesk;
  • Use telephone for communication;
  • Reports, letters etc. if urgent, should be hand written or go to SMP to use a computer there.

Useful Telephone Numbers

British Telecom 0800  800156
IT Helpdesk 01753 875090
Breakaway Mobile 07909898911

7. Transport

Problem Emergency Plan
Unable to use Breakaway’s minibus
  • Contact Transport Department and ask them to provide a minibus. If closed, contact Out & About;
  • Staff who have business use on their car insurance may transport C/YP in their cars (if they are in agreement to do so) and if they have appropriate restraints;
  • Use a taxi for short, essential journeys provided appropriate restraints are in place.

Useful Telephone Numbers

Transport  01753 477301
Taxi (ask for invoice)

8. Medical Emergency at Night

Problem Emergency Plan
C/YP becomes ill during the night
  • Waking night staff to call on sleeping in person for assistance;
  • Parents to be advised and, depending on the nature of the illness, may need to collect their child but this should be avoided wherever possible;
  • It may be necessary to obtain medical advice. This can be done by calling the C/YP’s own GP and following instructions for out of hours or by calling NHS Choices;
  • Depending on the nature of the emergency, follow emergency procedures identified on the C/YP’s This is Me/Medical Care Plan. This may involve calling for an ambulance;
  • If the C/YP needs to attend hospital an ambulance should be called and parents should be advised. The parent/s should accompany their child to the hospital where possible.  If this is not possible follow the contingency arrangements for the C/YP which will be found on ICS.  If this fails then one staff member may accompany the C/YP to hospital but another member of staff will need to be called in to ensure the unit is adequately staffed (use list of staff who have agreed to be called at anytime).
Member of staff becomes ill during the night
  • Call the other member of staff for assistance;
  • If necessary obtain medical advice from GP or NHS Choices;
  • Call ambulance if necessary;
  • If staff member needs to go home or to hospital, call in another member of staff to ensure the unit is adequately staffed (use list of staff who have agreed to be called at anytime).  If unable to obtain cover, follow guidance as for ‘Night staff not turning up for a shift’.

Useful Telephone Numbers

NHS Choices 0845 4647

9. Useful Telephone Numbers

Karen Ehret (Breakaway Manager)
Tel: 07720954304
Tel: 01753 544651 (Home)
Tel: 07917866275
Jackie Wright (Head of Service)
Tel: 07500785464 (Work)
Tel: 01753 787672 (Office)
Tel: 01189693696 (Home)
Tel: 07771885366 (Personal)
Paul Carney (LDD Management Team)
Tel: 07748297176
Ami Lall (LDD Management Team)
Tel: 07703192805
Tel: 01344 786543
NHS Choices
Tel: 0845 4647
National Grid (GAS)
Tel: 0900 111 999
Southern Electric

Tel: 0845 0701699

Out of Hours - Emergency
Tel: 08000 72 72 82 (from mobile drop first 0)
Thames Water
Tel: 0845 641 0002
Emergency Services
Tel: 999
Slough Police
Tel: 101

Tel: 01753 875908

Out of Hours - Emergency
Tel: 0800 9151215
Tel: 01753 477301
Breakaway Mobile
Tel: 07909898911
Tel: 0208 644050
British Telecom
Tel: 0800 800156
IT Help Desk
Tel: 01753 875090
Tel: 01753 570866