Care providers have been advised by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to continue to plan for a possible no-deal outcome to Brexit negotiations.
The DHSC issued guidance to the sector after the European Council agreed to extend Article 50 to April 12 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, or to May 22 if Parliament agreed a deal before 12 April.
The guidance document gives advice on how to plan for, and cope with, possible interruptions to the supply of medical devices, clinical consumables, medicines and vaccines.
It also gives advice on securing non-clinical goods and services such as food, laundry services, fuel and data.
The National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) has been designed to coordinate between suppliers, health services and adult social care organisations and central government. It will monitor the supply situation and coordinate actions to address supply disruption incidents that occur after the UK has exited the EU where normal procedures are unable to provide a resolution.
To ensure continued supply, the DHSC has worked with the Care Provider Alliance in the areas of medicines; medical devices and clinical consumables; and non-clinical goods and services.
The NSDR includes a 24/7 call centre to record supplies disruption concerns from any source. It will offer logistics trouble-shooting to suppliers whose consignments are stuck in border disruption, including being a gatekeeper for access to the DHSC Dedicated Shipment Channel – a priority shipping route for DHSC products. Supply disruption issues that are not purely logistical will be immediately passed to case management teams in the Department that can work with relevant stakeholders to resolve the problem.
Providers that are not able to resolve issues through their normal channels with suppliers are advised to contact the NSDR centre on: Free phone: 0800 915 9964, Direct line: 0044 (0) 191 283 6543; or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org