Implementation process

y looking at the the activities, actors and methods or approaches used, this section will provide a better understanding of the implementation process of the MLS approach. We will describe the point of departure, who was involved (when, why and how) and what key decisions were made when and why.

Point of departure of FRM strategies

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Figure 1: Current and desired score to reach per layer in this pilot (Baseline monitor Kent, 2019).

To measure the impact of FRAMES on improving the flood resilience of pilot areas, communities and authorities both a baseline and final monitoring survey have been conducted. The surveys were completed by pilot managers in consultation with key pilot stakeholders. The baseline survey included questions about the actual situation in 2017 (before the project started) and expectations for 2020 (see figure 1).The final survey contained similar questions, but about the actual situation in 2020 and expected situation for 2025, five years after the pilot projects are finished. All the scores for both surveys along with an interpretation, can be found in chapter 8 of the Transnational Monitoring and Evaluation Report.

Stakeholders involved

Roles of key actors

The UK Environment Agency (EA) is the lead authority in case of river flooding and, in this role, they collaborate with other responsible agencies to warn and inform the public of the risks, impacts and the actions that they could take to alleviate those impacts.

Kent County Council (KCC) is the Lead Local Flood Authority responsible for drainage on the highways and surface water flooding. The council is a Category 1 responder under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and as such has a role in emergency planning and responding to flooding events. The duties of the KCC during a flood event are (Kent County Council, 2017):

  • Assess the risk of surface water flooding;
  • Put emergency plans in place;
  • Ensure that there is business continuity management in place;
  • Respond to flooding when it happens, along with EA and all the other agencies involved in the immediate response to a flood event;
  • Warn and inform the public about the risks, the impacts and the actions that they could take if they want to alleviate those impacts;
  • Share information;
  • Co-operate with other organizations to manage the risk.

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 requires KCC to work together with other Category 1 and 2 responders as part of the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF). The organisations specified under the Act, are required by law to work as part of the KRF to respond to emergency events, including flooding. Members of the KRF hold different levels of responsibility during an event and include: the Highways Agency, UK Power Networks, BT, MCA, Southern Water, South East Coast Ambulance Service, Public Health England, Vodafone, South East Water, Medway Council, the National Health Service, the Environment Agency, Southern Gas Networks, Affinity Water, National Grid, Network Rail, Kent Police, and the Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

The Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) is a local resilience forum, of which there are 43 across the UK and is responsible for coordinating the activities before, during and after a flooding event. KCC emergency planners lead on the preparation for an event, while Kent Police co-ordinate the immediate response to an event, and KCC take a lead on public service recovery from an event once the initial response has been completed. KCC is part of the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) at different levels. Senior staff are part of coordinating groups who provide strategic direction of the response to an event. Operational staff are on the front line of the response to an event (interview with pilot managers, 2019).

The Kent Resilience Team is a steering group comprised of staff from Kent County Council, Kent Fire & Rescue Service and Kent Police. Their role is to coordinate the activities of the different parties in the KRF, considering the local priorities in relation to response and immediate recovery (risk assessment and planning) (Kent County Council, 2019c).

The role of KCC during the FRAMES pilot is to facilitate the process of increasing flood resilience in the health and social care sector, engage with the right stakeholders and make sure that reasonable steps are being taken to prevent, respond to and recover from flooding. After the pilot project is finished, KCC will continue working with the identified at risk health and social care assets, raising awareness and providing guidance to improve their preparedness for floods and other climate hazards including high temperatures and heatwaves (interview with pilot managers, 2019).

Main activities

The starting point for this pilot was a national assessment (Environment Agency, 2009) stating that 8% of hospitals, care homes and doctors’ surgeries are located within areas vulnerable to river and coastal flooding. The objective of this pilot was to identify and address future vulnerability of health and social care infrastructure to floods (interview with pilot managers, 2019). The UK Environment Agency website has freely available maps of flood risks, however it is recommended that these flood maps are not used for identification of risk to a specific property.

The implementation steps are listed below:

  • 2017-18: Literature review and data gathering; initial stakeholder identification and engagement to inform on the FRAMES project;
  • 2018: Additional data gathering and assessment of flood risks to communities and Health and Socia

l Care assets; commissioning of the Kent Climate Change Risk and Impact Assessment;

  • 2019: Engagement with stakeholders through workshops; publication of the Kent Climate Change Risk and Impact Assessment; re-launch of the Severe Weather Impacts Monitoring System (SWIMS).

The activities that took place in this pilot are as follows:

1) Community analysis

Kent County Council completed a community analysis to map vulnerability to the impacts of flooding of communities in Kent. The online open access database — Climate Just – which combines flood risk and social deprivation indicators, the Social Flood Risk Index (SFRI) was used to pinpoint the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in relation to flooding (interview with pilot managers, 2019). The tool measures geographic flood disadvantage, a combination of social vulnerability and the physical risk of a flood occurring. It considers coastal and fluvial flooding and surface water flooding and it provides 3 scenarios (current, 2°C by 2050 and 4°C by 2050). Through Climate Just, the top 10 most flood vulnerable neighborhoods were identified in 4 districts: Swale, Folkstone and Hythe, Medway and Thanet (Kent County Council, 2019a). The people and assets (medical and care services, schools) in these areas are considered vulnerable as they are low-lying areas and there are many people who are socially vulnerable (over 65, living with disabilities or with young children) (interview with pilot managers, 2019). Identification of these areas allowed the Council to engage with the relevant stakeholders around the County who co-ordinates the planning and response to floods and other severe weather events. The goal is to make better use of resources in response to flood events.

2) Spatial analysis

The data from the community assessment was combined with data available for health and social care assets available on SHAPE (interview with pilot managers, 2019). The Strategic Health Asset Planning and Evaluation, or SHAPE Atlas, is an online Public Health England tool with national data sets on clinical analysis, public health, primary and secondary care, with information on Health and Social Care estate performance and locations. Kent County Council corrected the flood risk of 1757 individual locations (Kent County Council, 2019b). Kent View, Google Maps and Street View were used to figure out the exact location of health and social care assets in order to ensure that the analysis of flood risks was as accurate as possible. To further ensure accuracy, and to capture information on those locations that were not at direct flood risk, but that may be vulnerable as a result of roads flooding and limiting access, a 10 m buffer zone was added around each location (interview with pilot managers, 2019).

The spatial analysis showed that approximate 9.7% of the properties (about 170 out of 1750 properties) are at risk, above the national report used as a baseline study. The properties reviewed included: care homes, day care centers, primary and secondary schools, children’s residential services, rest centers and local authority office locations (Kent County Council, 2019b). If catastrophic flooding occurred across the whole County a total of 1,250 beds are at risk in care homes and locating additional beds for all those affected would be challenging (interview with pilot managers, 2019).

3) Stakeholder engagement

In September 2019, the results will be presented and discussed with the department directors at  KCC (Health and Social Care, Environment, Planning and Enforcement) and corporate directors (Growth, Environment and Transport, Adult Health and Social Care) and engagement will have started with commissioners of the services (commissioners of care homes, public health). As well as engaging with directors, the project team is engaging with other council services, emergency planners and other groups, including the Kent Resilience Forum, Environment Agency, Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and service managers. Engaging with a broad range of stakeholders will ensure that the results of the project are shared widely and used to build flood resilience from the top down and the bottom up (interview with pilot managers, 2019).

Through engaging with service managers, the project team hopes to stimulate discussion of flood risks and ensure that these risks are featured in the emergency planning process of properties at risk. KCC will provide expertise in flood risk to help managers to better integrate flood risk into their plans, including making additional provisions to ensure that the most vulnerable residents are as safe as possible in the event of a flood (interview with pilot managers, 2019).