When individuals find themselves in situations that may cause them harm they may be able to take action to protect themselves. However, circumstances can arise when the health of the population may be at risk because groups of individuals are exposed, or at risk of being exposed, to infectious disease, high levels of a hazardous substance or adverse environmental conditions. These situations are public health incidents and NHS boards and HPS must take action to protect public health.
This document provides generic guidance for the NHS in preparing for, and managing public health incidents in collaboration with partners, especially the local authorities (LAs). It is not intended to be prescriptive and should allow for flexibility so that NHS boards can respond appropriately where necessary.