Allan Cordwell: Head of Northern Care Alliance Group Emergency Planning, Resilience & Response Unit
My NHS career commenced with me qualifying as a Registered Adult Nurse in 1997 gradually progressing to the position of Senior Charge Nurse at Fairfield General Hospital in 2007. Part of my role included the development of a departmental Chemical Incident response and the training of staff to mitigate such an incident. During this time, I enlisted in the Reserve Forces ‘207 Field Hospital’ Manchester Volunteers and I was deployed on active service in the Iraqi theatre in 2003 on Op Telic 1.
In 2009 I was seconded into the position of Emergency Planning Manager within The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust; this position then progressed into a permanent role where I was successful in achieving the Health Emergency Planning Diploma from the Emergency Planning College at Easingwold in 2011. I have continued to develop the service, which has morphed into Emergency Preparedness, Resilience & Response Unit in line with national guidance, with various projects targeted at increasing and refining acute hospital resilience, and more recently, supporting operational response and resilience in patient surge mitigation.
I have presented papers to a variety of specialist conferences on the development of C.B.R.N.E. / Hazmat response and resilience establishing international links with the Israeli Defence Force, CBRN Academy in the Netherlands, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Centres for Disease Control & Prevention, National Guard Bureau – Domestic Operations in the United States, National Civil Protection in Madrid. We also support the development of UK National CBRN guidance and training for health.
The emergency systems that the EPRRU service has developed have been thoroughly tested by the mitigation of multiple real world incidents including the most recent successful response to the Manchester Arena bombing.