Emergency planning student wins top national award
An emergency planning student has received a top national honour for her work in helping to ensure Southampton’s teaching hospitals are prepared to cope with a major incident.
Hari Waterfield, a BSc (Hons) disaster management student at Coventry University who joined UHS on a one-year placement in September 2012, was named student of the year at the business continuity awards 2013.
Under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004), NHS organisations and providers of NHS-funded care are required to show that they can deal with a wide range of incidents and emergencies that could affect health or patient care while maintaining services.
As part of her role, Hari has been involved with developing the Trust's emergency preparedness policy, organising and assisting a major incident exercise and writing and updating contingency plans for handling the effects of severe and sustained cold weather periods.
In addition, she has helped with the creation of guidelines for handling pandemic flu and the admission of VIPs to hospital, as well as adapting the overall major incident plan to reflect the new NHS structure.
“The new NHS structure, which became operational in April, will significantly change emergency planning, response and recovery, so to be a part of that changing environment in such a large teaching trust has been such a valuable experience for me,” said Hari.
“I return to Coventry for my final year late September and, following that, I hope to go back home to London to find a job in the emergency planning and business continuity field – hopefully in an NHS Trust.”
David Griffiths, emergency planning and business continuity manager at UHS, said: “Hari’s appointment with us last year was a real coup because, until then, the NHS hadn’t been tuned in to capturing these students before – they often went straight to local authorities.
“She has not only shown great skill, enthusiasm and astuteness in helping us with major Trust-wide projects but, as a practising student, has helped to ensure we are up-to-date with the current teaching curriculum in our field.”