Letter from Department of Health & Social Care via Care Quality Commission
23 October 2019
Brexit contingency planning update for adult social care providers and local authorities
Ahead of 31st October, I am writing to remind you of the steps that you can take locally to respond to any instances of supply disruption that might affect you, your organisation, or the people receiving your services, after the UK leaves the European Union (EU). This letter will also include information on how you can contact the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
This information follows a letter dated 8th October with information on what adult social care providers and local authorities can do in advance of 31st October to help ensure the continuity of services.
Managing supply disruption issues after Brexit
If you are an adult social care provider and you experience a problem with the supply of a product, service, or anything else important to your business, such as fuel, that might affect your ability to continue providing services, we recommend that you:
- Raise your concern with your relevant local authority representative as soon as you are able. This may be your local authority commissioner, contract management contact, or quality assurance team. If there is a significant risk to the safety or wellbeing of service users, you should also alert your local adult safeguarding hub.
- Remember that you should raise your concern with your local authority whether or not you are directly commissioned by them to carry out services.
- If you provide services across multiple local authorities, please contact your host local authority who should be able to alert other interested parties.
- Where relevant, raise your concern with your local care provider association or trade body representative. They may have mitigation plans in place for supply disruption.
- Where relevant and if your service is part of a larger business group, also ensure that operational management and the business owners are made aware of the issue.
- Contact other branches in your organisation where appropriate to try and make alternative arrangements.
- Consider making contact with your supplier to source alternatives or put in place mitigating actions. Remember that your supplier will likely already be aware of the supply issue and may have already taken steps to resolve it.
- If the issue relates to the supply of medicines, also alert your community pharmacist who should know the latest on any supply disruption.
If you are a local authority and you have been alerted to an instance of supply disruption by one or multiple adult social care providers, we recommend that you:
- Consider whether you will be able to manage the disruption locally as part of your business as usual processes and/or Brexit contingency plans.
- Make sure to alert any other local partners that might be affected by the issue. This could include neighbouring local authorities, your local CCG commissioner, or other relevant NHS contacts.
- If the issue cannot be resolved at a local level, link in with your Local Resilience Forum (LRF) through the usual channels, i.e. via the local authority representative on the LRF. They may mobilise the major incident response arrangements for your area.
- At this stage, you will need to alert the issue to the NSDR, and escalate it to relevant EU exit leads within your local authority (this will likely include your Brexit Lead Officer and EU exit regional lead for the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS)).
Managing supply disruption via the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR)
DHSC has established the NSDR to monitor the supply situation across health and social care and coordinate actions to address supply disruption incidents that occur after Brexit, where normal procedures are unable to provide a resolution. It will coordinate between suppliers, health services, adult social care organisations, local authorities, and central government.
A wide range of organisations across the health and social care sector can contact the NSDR at any time to report an incident of supply disruption. However, the NSDR can only provide support where normal procedures are unable to provide a resolution. We recommend that you only contact the NSDR if, after taking appropriate steps to resolve the issue at a local level, you are still experiencing severe disruption to your supplies, or if you feel that there is the potential for severe disruption which will impact your ability to provide services.
If you are an adult social care provider or local authority, we strongly recommend that you take the steps outlined above to try to resolve the issue locally ahead of contacting the NSDR.
The NSDR will be available from 24th October 2019 and can be contacted on:
Freephone number in the UK: 0800 915 9964
Direct line: 0044 (0) 191 283 6543
Email: [email protected]
If you need to contact the NSDR please ensure that you have the following information available where possible:
- ✓ Details of the disruption and causes;
- ✓ Anticipated disruption and causes;
- ✓ Products or services affected;
- ✓ Criticality of products or services for care;
- ✓ Potential alternative products or service providers;
- ✓ The likely impact of the disruption;
- ✓ How many providers and/or people in care that could be affected (by region/country where applicable).
I hope this information is useful and provides direction to further inform your own preparedness planning and arrangements.
For further information on the steps that you can take now to prepare for Brexit please visit our dedicated adult social care guidance page on GOV.UK.
Please ensure you cascade this letter to staff in your organisation you have nominated to deal with supply issues, and any business critical stakeholders.
Director General, Prevention, Community and Social Care