Incidents have three levels and the determination of this will be dependent on the nature of the issue. Each level will impact upon service delivery within the NHS, may undermine public confidence and require contingency plans to be implemented.

A business continuity incident is an event or occurrence that disrupts, or might disrupt, an organisation’s normal service delivery, below acceptable predefined levels, where special arrangements are required to be implemented until services can return to an acceptable level (this could be a surge in demand requiring resources to be temporarily redeployed).

A critical incident is any localised incident where the level of disruption results in the organisation temporarily or permanently losing its ability to deliver critical services, patients may have been harmed or the environment is not safe requiring special measures and support from other agencies, to restore normal operating functions.

A major incident is any occurrence that presents serious threat to the health of the community or causes such numbers or types of casualties, as to require special arrangements to be implemented.

To read more about the Framework, please visit the NHS England website