Parts B, C and D of this guide provide an overview of the key areas of PPRR. These key areas are consistent with Australia’s overall strategic approach to emergency management.
In general practice, prevention and preparedness activities should form part of everyday practice. The more prepared a practice is, the more effective their overall response and recovery effort will be. While it is widely recognised that general practice services are extremely busy, it is strongly recommended that practices take time to undertake rigorous preparedness activities.
It is recommended that practices develop a plan that is reviewed annually. It is suggested that this is done every February, so that practices are also prepared for the regular flu season.
General practices will implement their response strategies just prior to and during a pandemic. The level of response required will be dependent on the current pandemic stage as determined by the Australian Government. The response chapter of this guide provides advice regarding the key response activities that practices should undertake during a pandemic. The Implementation guide provides direction regarding the specific tasks to undertake during the relevant stages of the pandemic (as outlined in the AHMPPI).
During the recovery phase, practices should assess the impacts of the pandemic and reflect on what was managed well or poorly during their response efforts. Practices can then incorporate all learnings into future pandemic planning (preparedness stage). As described earlier, preparedness activities are crucial and help ensure the effectiveness of a practice’s response efforts.
Figure 4 shows how preparedness is central to all other pandemic activities. In the context of pandemic influenza, preparedness is the capability to ‘prevent, protect against, respond quickly to, and recover from health emergencies, particularly those whose scale, timing, or unpredictability threatens to overwhelm routine capabilities’.21