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Edinburgh Royal Infirmary – Interesting Definition of Business Continuity

There has been extensive coverage this week of the ongoing power cuts at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary; including an incident in March when a patient was under general anaesthetic when the power failed and the operation had to be finished by torchlight.  Intriguingly, in the course of commending the staff involved for completing the operation in such difficult circumstances; NHS Lothian’s Medical Director attributes their success to the existence of “Well-rehearsed business continuity plans.”  I would suggest, in stead, that the incident demonstrates a serious absence of business continuity planning, particularly a failure to address the resilience of key suppliers (in this case the facilities management company).  Moreover, the fact that this is one of a series of such incidents brings into question the Trusts’s ability to learn for incidents – another key component of business continuity.