Business Continuity Plan

This plan sets out the measures we have taken to reduce the possibility of various threats affecting the service we provide and the procedures we will follow to minimise the impact of those threats should they materialise.

We consider that the threats that are most likely to affect the services we provide are:

  • Telephone line failure
  • IT systems failure
  • Equipment failure
  • Failure of electricity supply
  • Failure of water supply
  • Strong winds
  • Floods (including frozen pipes)
  • Fire
  • Pandemics


NB: Many of these threats to the business overlap. For example, severe fire damage may also involve disruption to IT and communications. The various sections of this plan should be read together, as necessary, in order to provide a complete solution to a given situation.


We have taken various proactive steps to reduce the risk of the treats identified above affecting our services:

GENERAL STEPS:

  • This policy is part of the practice website- since it is stored online, it is secure in the event of a localised system failure, disaster or emergency and may be assessed by any team member who is able to connect to the internet.
  • This policy is also printed off and posted on the staff room noticeboard so that it is available for all team members to see.
  • Telephone and email contact details for team members and essential support services (e.g dental engineer, IT support, electrician, plumber, etc) are stored on the practice mobile telephone as well as in the practice address book.
  • Every day we print off a paper list of patients due to visit the practice in the next 24 hours (known as a day list):, this list contains both names and telephone numbers that allow us to contact people to cancel appointments in the event of an emergency.
  • The business has buildings. Contents, business, interruption and practice expenses insurance policies to meet the cost of repairs and other practice overheads where necessary.

TELEPHONE LINE FAILURE:

We have three different telephone lines at the practice. Two of these are ISDN that carry incoming and outgoing calls. The other one service the PDQ machine and modem, but they can be used as back up if the ISDN lines or practice switchboard fail. Should the need arise we can remove and use telephone from office and also have a practice mobile telephone.

IT SYSTEMS FAILURE:

We renew IT systems on a regular basis. All IT hardware is protected by antivirus & antimalware software that automatically updates from the internet on a regular basis. We also employ firewalls to protect our systems from unauthorised access and malicious damage. Our operating systems automatically download and install upgrades to reduce system vulnerabilities. We have a server with mirrored hard drives so that if one fails our systems will continued to function on the other. The server also contains a third hard drive that carries out an incremental back up every day. Data from the dental software is backed up across the network from the server to the office computer every working day. The practice principal, Dr. Baber Nisar, carries out regular backups using a removable and hard drive that is stored off- site, appointments times, appointment length and contact details) so that we can contact and reschedule patients in the event of an system failure.

EQUIPMENT FAILURE:

We carry out regular equipment testing and maintenance in accordance with our testing, maintenance and audit schedule in order to reduce the risk of equipment at appropriate intervals. We carry parts and even spare equipment (in stock cupboard and off site.) For example, we have spare hand piece, spare intra-oral camera, etc. Both surgeries are of the same design and equipped in an identical manner so that if one is out of service the dentist can move to the other with minimum of disruption.

FAILURE OF ELECTRICITY SUPPLY:

There is nothing we can realistically do to guard against a failure in the electricity supply since we are entirely in the hands of the utility companies.

FAILURE OF WATER SUPPLY:

There is nothing we can realistically do to guard against a failure in our water supply since we entirely in the hands of the utility companies

STRONGS WINDS:

The practice is in a reasonably sheltered position and we keep the building well maintained, but otherwise there is little we can do to guard against strong winds.

FLOOD:

External flooding caused by rainfall/melt water. The practice is not in an area likel to be seriously affected by external flooding and it is situated on the second floor above a retail outlet. Internal flooding caused by plumbing services: such as burst pipes is a more likely problem. We guard against this by turning off the water supply at the main stopcock whenever the building is unattended for extended periods such as annual leave, for example (not for a routine weekend closedown.)

FIRE:

The practice at the moment has individual fire alarms fitted in the reception area. The building does not essentially have any fire alarm systems in place however we are working towards installing a wireless fire alarm system which will include the whole building. We carry out regular fire risk assessments for the practice to minimise the risk of a fire happening. We have properly positioned and maintained firefighting equipment and a fire evacuation procedure. We as a practice carry out fire drills every 4-6 months depending on staff turnover. Portable electrical appliances are test every 12 months.

PANDEMIC:

There is little we can do to prevent or significantly influence a pandemic outbreak of human disease. The practice maintains approximately 1 month’s supplies of essential consumables so that we could continue to operate in the event of supply chain disruption. We keep supplies of facemasks, disposable gloves.

TELEPHONE LINE FAILURE:

The telephone in office can be plugged into the line for the PDQ machine/internet service in the event that the main ISDN lines (or the practice telephone exchange system) fail. Should that happen, Talk talk can redirect calls to the alternative number so that we can continue to receive and make calls using our normal telephone number. If all our landlines fail. Calls can redirected to the practice mobile.

IT SYSTEMS FAILURE:

In the event of an IT systems failure, the first point of contact is the practice principle Dr Baber Nisar who will attempt to resolve the problem if possible

If they are not available or are unable to resolve the issue, the computer maintained company mircominder should be contacted. Their contacted number 0845091090 if the issue involves replacing /re-installing or dealing with an issue involving the dental software (EXACT) then the software supplier, software of excellance SOE, can be contacted on 08453455767. Data backups can be accessed on the server, the office computer and from the removable hard drive kept by the practice principle Dr Nisar. We have discussed the issue of catastrophic system failure with mircominder and have been advised that the practice computer system can be reinstated within 24 hours, even if we have to purchase entirely new hardware and install new software on it (assuming that a data backup is available) If a systems failure should occur, the printed day list provides the information necessary to reach patients.

  • Business Continuity Plan

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