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Declaration and management of a public health event of state significance

Directive number: QH-HSD-046:2014

Effective date: 12 June 2022

Review date: 12 June 2025

Supersedes: Version 2

On this page:

Purpose

The purpose of this Health Service Directive (HSD) is to ensure Hospital and Health Services (HHSs) follow the directions of the Chief Health Officer (CHO) or delegate to manage an incident that has been declared a public health event of state significance.

Scope

This directive applies to all HHSs and is specifically for the management of a public health event of state significance.

Principles

The principles of this HSD align to those outlined in QH-HSD-003:2017 — Disasters and Emergency Incidents that ensure HHSs develop and maintain a capability, supported by effective risk-based plans and arrangements, to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters and emergency incidents, and ensure continuity of critical business functions:

  • Leadership
    • The HHS is primarily responsible for leading and managing health related aspects of disasters and emergency incidents within its service area.
    • Leadership at all levels of the service is demonstrated through responsible and effective governance and strategy planning that supports this responsibility.
  • Safety
    • The safety and security of staff, patients, the broader community and critical infrastructure is the foundation for disaster, emergency and continuity plans and arrangements.
  • Partnerships
    • Cooperative partnerships drive clear roles and responsibilities and promote collaboration between all stakeholders.
  • Performance
    • A culture of excellence produces outcomes where effectiveness is evaluated, analysed and continually improved; and evidence based, contemporary practice is identified, shared and embedded.

Outcomes

HHSs shall achieve the following outcome:

  • Respond to and follow the requests and directions from the Chief Health Officer or delegate to manage an incident on the declaration and activation of a public health event of state significance.

Method of declaration

When the Chief Health Officer and Deputy Director-General Prevention Division has determined a public health event should be managed under this directive, a written declaration will be provided to the Chief Executives (CEs) of the affected HHSs. This advice may include the requirement to respond using the working arrangements as described in the Queensland Health Public Health Sub-plan (PDF 888 kB), a functional health plan that supports the Queensland Health Disaster and Emergency Incident Plan (PDF 5473 kB). Written advice from the Chief Health Officer and Deputy Director-General Prevention Division will be provided to the relevant CEs when the management of the incident under this HSD is no longer required.

Mandatory requirements

HHSs shall comply with the requirements and directions from the Chief Health Officer and Deputy Director-General Prevention Division or delegate, upon the declaration of a public health event of state significance in accordance with the principles and guidelines as established by the Queensland Health Public Health Sub-plan, the Queensland Health Disaster and Emergency Incident Plan and the Queensland Health Incident Management System Guideline.

Supporting documents

Business area contact

Communicable Diseases Branch

(07) 3328 9728

Review

This Health Service Directive will be reviewed at least every three years.

Date of last review: 12 June 2022

Supersedes: Version 2

Approval and implementation

Directive Custodian

Dr John Gerrard, Chief Health Officer,  Queensland Health

Approval by Chief Executive

Shaun Drummond,  Acting Director-General, Queensland Health

Approval date: 15 March 2022

Issued under section 47 of the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011.

Definitions of terms used in this directive

TermDefinitionSource
Capability How an entity is using training and exercising to help embed the
necessary culture change and improve performance.
Queensland Emergency Management Assurance Framework (Accountabilities)
Critical business function A business function or part thereof identified as essential for survival of the organisation and achievement of its critical objectives ASA5050:2010 Business continuity – Managing disruption-related risk
(Section 1.3 Definitions)
Public health event Any event that may have negative consequences for human health on a population basis. The term includes incidents that have not yet led to disease in humans but have the potential to cause human disease through exposure to contaminated or infected food, waters, animals and vectors, manufactured products or environment, and novel communicable diseases. International Health Regulations 2005 (World Health Organization)
Public health event of state significance A public health incident where the actual or potential impact has state or national implications and/or extends across multiple HHSs. Queensland Health Public Health Sub-plan, February 2018
Written declaration Communication activation for the declaration of a public health event of state significance. The CHO and DDG Prevention Division will provide written advice of the decision to declare a public health event of state significance (including both the start and finish dates) to the CEs of the affected HHSs. Queensland Health Public Health Sub-plan, February 2018

Version control

VersionDate Prepared byComments
1 21 Oct 2014 Communicable Diseases Unit,
Chief Health Officer Branch
New document
2 May 2019 Communicable Diseases Branch Supersedes Version 1
The purpose of this HSD is to ensure HHSs follow the direction of the CHO or delegate to manage an incident that has been declared a public health event of state significance and the subsequent requirement for HHSs to follow the directions of the CHO or delegate. The information already found within the QH-HSD-003:2017— Disaster and Emergency Incidents, the Queensland Health Disaster and Emergency Incident Plan and the Queensland Health Public Health Sub-plan has been removed, as already covered in the Disaster and Emergency Incidents Plan Health Service Directive QH-HSD-003:2017.
3 June 2022 Communicable Diseases Branch Supersedes version 2.
No changes to the intent of the document. Links and formatting updated
Last updated: 15 March 2022