Business continuity week: Loss of IT

Side of RRV with lozenge

This week (16th-20th May) is Business Continuity Awareness week. Organised by the Business Continuity Institute, the week aims to raise awareness of the importance of business continuity and resilience in organisations such as ours.

The theme for the week is return on investment and, in addition to the obvious benefits business continuity has in the event of a disruption, it will look at the other advantages it may have.

So what is business continuity?

Business continuity management is a process that identifies potential threats to our organisation and the impacts to business operations those threats might cause if realised. It provides a framework around which to build organisational resilience, providing an effective response to such threats that safeguards the interests of patients, staff, key stakeholders and our reputation.

What can you do to support business continuity?

All staff should check with their line managers to ensure they know what is expected of them in an emergency or when their departmental business continuity plan is put into play. They should know who their plan writer is and where they can access a copy of the plan. 

Everyone should ideally have their own arrangements to ensure they can get to work in adverse circumstances, but more importantly than that – if you know of a way to improve anything we do – don’t keep it to yourself!

To promote the awareness week, tips of the day will be uploaded to Need to Know each day.

Tip of the day

Loss of IT

What can go wrong?

  • Unable to access accounts/staff or patient details
  • Unable to access supplier details
  • Cannot pay wages
  • Data lost or corrupted
  • Passwords forgotten, or even worse, breached
  • Unable to retrieve family photos or on line banking
  • Email not available
  • Mapping and electronic patient records not working.

What can you do?

  • Take regular back-ups
  • Store back-ups off site
  • Have paper systems at hand to temporarily replace IT
  • Conform to security procedures
  • Ensure firewalls and virus protection is up to date
  • Have alternative processes (as finance does for paying wages)
  • Make good use of laptops and have arrangements to allow stand-alone printing
  • Ambulance and RRV crews carrying up to date map books and know how to use them.

 If you would like any further information on business continuity, please contact our Business Continuity Lead, Ian Crowson, by emailing

Published 16th May, 2016

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