Business Continuity Awareness

24 May 23

Refurb Of Plymouth Flats Completed As Part Of Energy Efficiency Plans 02

Last week marked Business Continuity Awareness Week – helping to raise awareness of what our business has in place to continue offering services to residents in the event of a major incident.

The last few years have been very busy. We have seen a global pandemic, a return to war in Europe, a new energy crisis, the UK recording its highest temperature and levels of inflation not seen since the 1980’s. Plymouth and the surrounding areas have seen major incidents declared including fires and flooding.

Business Continuity is about making sure that we can continue to deliver our services to residents.

Some incidents we can anticipate and be prepared for such as a temporary loss of power to our buildings or our telephone lines going down in stormy weather.

Some incidents we cannot predict, and we have plans in place to make sure that we can continue to operate as a business.

So, what could go wrong?

Cyber attack

One of the most common and increasingly dangerous threats to any business is a cyber-attack. Almost everything we do in our everyday life is online - imagine the disruption if you were cut off from your banking apps, what would happen to your data, could someone steal your identity and withdraw money from your account? 

PCH faces the same threat, and we know other housing providers have fallen victim to cybercriminals. We know this can create huge disruption for staff and residents.

What do we have in place to prevent this?

We have strong Digital & IT systems and protection in place to safeguard PCH from cyber-attacks. We have also enlisted the support and services of industry experts who monitor our Digital & IT infrastructure 24 hours a day 7 days a week so that we can respond as early as we can to any potential threat. We also work with national security agencies such as the National Cyber Security Centre to ensure we stay ahead of cyber threats. We regularly raise awareness with staff that if they see something unusual or looks suspicious, that they inform our Digital & IT team.


Supply chain issues

One of the issues we could face is materials to do our jobs not being available to us. We saw this during the Covid pandemic when this meant a national shortage of PPE and hand sanitiser, but on a local level, we had limited supplies of materials to complete repairs in residents’ homes and to refurbish our homes as part of our programme of improvements.

What do we have in place to prevent this?

Our Procurement Team carry out regular checks with our suppliers to make sure they have enough stock in place for us to carry out our day-to-day repairs and that there are no plans to discontinue any items.

During the Covid pandemic, our advanced planning allowed us to order stocks of PPE and hand sanitiser in advance before the stocks ran low, which meant that we were able to continue safely carrying out repairs in our residents’ homes.

James Hancock, our Risk and Assurance Manager supports PCH to develop robust business continuity planning which includes adapting to national and global changes: “As an organisation, in the event of an incident our first priority is the safety of our residents, staff and the continuation of our services.

“We need to have measures in place that will allow us to continue to operate and offer our residents the services, support and consistency they expect from us.

“Our Business Continuity Plans are regularly reviewed and we will continue to seek out the best practice in the industry to make sure we are amongst the very best housing providers when it comes to our Business Continuity planning.”  

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