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13th August 2018

Why Planning ahead for Incidents is Essential for your Service


Hot days bring on safety thoughts

In life, we often only think to plan for those events that happen infrequently when they are upon us, you will have had a few thoughts about the very hot weather for instance.

It means the action we take is not as well thought through and that has a knock on effect for what we can provide quickly and sometimes safely. It can also have an effect on a registration application or inspection if you cannot see beyond the here and now.

Personal experience

Let me give you a little example of a trivial element in my life… this is a text I sent to my family about my daughter’s play at school yesterday.

“Dear XXX

I have absolutely no idea what has been sent out and what hasn’t…The play is at 7:00pm tonight…sorry! and I hope to goodness it is over by 9:00pm. Due to the way ticket allocation has happened we have absolutely no idea of where our seats are. We are not sitting together so your co-operation is greatly appreciated. If you haven’t made plans, do come to ours for 6.30pm for a cuppa and you are welcome back afterwards too.


One thought leads to another… my shame, a number of other things had come up and I had booked seats a little later than I wanted to and and not communicated the plan. It nearly caused a problem with who could attend. Once I had had one thought, a number of others came pouring in…

  • Who needed to know what?
  • How long would it last?
  • Would people need drinks? Food?
  • Who could sit where?
  • Would anyone be offended if they took the row behind?

These thoughts were all good ones, and if I had had them earlier I wouldn’t be in a flat spin now!

So how do we plan for the unexpected?

My top tips:
  1. Plan with others - Planning alone often leads to miss opportunities. Having someone else there often enables you to bounce ideas from one to the other
  2. Visualise it – Yep – try and act it out
  3. Learn from others  who have been through it
  4. Read about it - The news will often highlight disasters and incidents like flooding, fire and heatwave which lead you to think clearly about a possible situation for your service
  5. Undertake a risk assessment which lead your thoughts through the things that may be a problem
  6. Check out QCS policies and procedures and plans – the key is to read them, know them and make them your own, they are no good sat on a shelf or in a file without reading.
It will be alright on the night? 

Well the play went very well, but I was hot and sweaty…a cake baked last minute, anxious about seating, and a sprint home at half time to get a fan and food provisions for a fidgety son.

I’ll be sure to do a bit more planning next time…

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Abi Spence

Registration and Inspection Specialist

Abi has worked for and with Government agencies relevant to social care for the past 12+ years. Primarily with the Department of Health, Social Services Inspectorate, Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and since its inception the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As part of this long involvement Abi has developed a wide and detailed understanding of relevant issues and has worked closely with stakeholders such as people that use services, carers, providers, local government, the Department of Health, Ofsted and the Audit Commission. Read more

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