Social care providers should not stockpile any medicines or medical devices in preparation for Brexit, the government has warned.
In new guidance published this week, the Department of Health and Social Care said stockpiling could cause shortages in other areas of the health sector, such as pharmacies, and put services users at risk.
Care providers should instead plan for longer lead times of up to five days if they rely on receiving products from the EU with lead times of up to 48 hours, and prepare to receive stock outside normal hours.
Providers should also tell service users not to store additional medicines, medical devices or clinical consumables at home, the department urged.
The government said in February it was “confident” that measures were in place to ensure the uninterrupted supply of medicines and medical products to the health and social secotr in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The then Minister of State for Health and Social Care Stephen Hammond provided an update for the House of Commons on contingency plans yesterday as the UK prepares to exit the EU next month.
He said: “While we never give guarantees, we are confident that, if everyone – including suppliers, freight companies, international partners and the health and care system – does what they need to do, the supply of medicines and medical products should be uninterrupted in the event of exiting the EU without a deal.”