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Business continuity planning and pandemic influenza in Europe: A thematic analysis of independent sector and national governments’ guidance
Most strategic and operational efforts to prepare for pandemic influenza have been directed towards building resilience in public health systems and overlook the challenge of ensuring business continuity in public and independent sector organisations and institutions outside the health sector. This report explores the breadth and depth of advice currently offered to the European non-health sector. It describes independent advisory organisations and the national strategic plans of the 27 European Union member states, plus Turkey, Norway and Switzerland. It uses an analytical framework based on ‘areas’ of preparedness that emerged from the guidelines, and which encompass relatively broad conceptual issues, and ‘themes’ which capture more detailed issues covered in each area. The study identifies nine areas of preparedness and 65 themes across both sectors. It shows that substantial gaps, incoherence and inconsistencies exist in the guidance offered. Substantial challenges and opportunities remain for governments to improve the advice they provide to the non-health sector. Advisory organisations also need to improve the advice they offer to the non-health sector and ensure that it is coherent with government advice.
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Alexandra Conseil is Research Fellow in communicable diseases policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). She has an MSc in international health management from Tanaka Business School at Imperial College, London and an MSc in control of infectious diseases from LSHTM. Her current research focus lies at the legal/public health interface regarding response to pandemic influenza in Europe. Previous research activities include the analysis of EU/EEA national governments’ guidance on business continuity planning for pandemic influenza and the evaluation of more than 50 African and European national strategic plans for pandemic influenza. She has also conducted consultancy work for the UN System for Influenza Coordination.
Sandra Mounier-Jack is Lecturer in Health Policy at the Department of Public Health and Policy. Her research projects include the impact of health policy on the control of communicable diseases including pandemic flu, HIV and tuberculosis. She has a master’s degree in public health and a master of business administration degree. She is Deputy Coordinator of the EU-funded research project ‘AsiaFluCapac’, aimed at assessing response capacity for pandemic influenza in six Southeast Asian countries and mapping resources and gaps in preparedness. She is currently an adviser to the UK House of Lords committee on the work of intergovernmental organisations in the control of infectious diseases and has also advised the UK Cabinet Office. She is a non-executive director of the Kensington and Chelsea Primary Care Trust.
Richard Coker is Reader in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He trained in medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital, London and, in 1994, became consultant physician to the hospital and senior lecturer at Imperial College School of Medicine. In 1997–98, as a Harkness Fellow, he worked at Columbia School of Public Health in New York, researching policy responses to tuberculosis. He subsequently worked as a Wellcome Research Associate researching public health legislative responses to infectious disease threats. He currently heads the Communicable Diseases Policy Research Group, which provides a focus of expertise on the diverse public health problems associated with communicable disease control internationally.
CitationConseil, Alexandra, Mounier-Jack, Sandra and Coker, Richard (2008, October 1). Business continuity planning and pandemic influenza in Europe: A thematic analysis of independent sector and national governments’ guidance. In the Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning, Volume 3, Issue 1.