Brexit update – October 2019

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On 8 October Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, released a statement on his department’s preparations for a ‘no-deal’ exit from the European Union. It provides some high-level details of supply chain plans, but no specific actions for general practice.

At the end of September, the National Audit Office (NAO) released its report ‘Exiting the EU: supplying the health and social care sectors’. Key points from the NAO on ‘no-deal’ EU exit preparations include:

  • Of the 12,300 prescription-only and over-the-counter medicines used in the UK, 7,000 come from or via the EU and the vast majority use the short Channel crossings [Calais or Dunkirk to Dover].
  • More than half the clinical consumables the UK uses come from, or via, the EU and the vast majority use the short Channel crossings.
  • Half of all supplies for clinical trials come from or via the EU, and half of those (25% of the total) come through the short Channel crossings.
  • 72% of medicine product lines have at least six weeks’ worth of supplies stockpiled and for 25% of medicine product lines suppliers have secured freight capacity away from the short Channel crossings.
  • DHSC does not know what proportion of social care providers have followed its stockpiling advice. 80% of care home providers operate a single care home [creating issues of physical, financial and administrative capacity for procuring and storing additional supplies].

The full NAO report is here.

The NAO report summary is here.

Last updated : 23 Oct 2019