14.6 After a Serious Incident

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It is not always possible to assess whether group members not injured or directly involved in the incident have been traumatised or whether other participants or staff in the establishment have been affected. In some cases reactions do not surface immediately. Establishments in this situation have sometimes found it helpful to contact local community support services and to seek professional advice on how to help individuals and the establishment as a whole cope with the effects of a tragedy.

Following any serious incident in which an authority’s emergency procedures have been utilised, it would be appropriate to conduct a review of the incident and how it happened, and of how the procedures were implemented. Any lessons to be learned should be incorporated into risk assessments, operating procedures and emergency planning arrangements.

The purpose of the review should be to:

  • Establish the facts
  • Determine whether there are lessons to be learned
  • Provide information to parents
  • Exchange information with statutory investigation bodies as required e.g. police, Health & Safety Executive
  • Manage media enquiries
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