EU Exit planning update: DHSC update (26-02-2019)

Letter to adult social care providers from Caroline Dineage, Minister of State of Care

26 February 2019

Dear Colleague,

Further to the letter of 21 December 2018 from the Permanent Secretary, I am writing to update you on work to ensure the continuity of supply of medicines and medical products in the event the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

Leaving the EU with a deal remains the Government’s top priority. However, the government must plan for every possible outcome including no deal. We are working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to ensure local authorities and the adult social care sector are as prepared as possible for the implications of EU Exit.
My colleague, Stephen Hammond MP, the Minister of State for Health, yesterday made a written ministerial statement to Parliament on our plans for ensuring continuous supplies. The text of the statement is set out here.

Update on adult social care guidance for EU Exit planning
The contingency arrangements that are being implemented nationally will provide a significant level of supply resilience for a full range of products that adult social care providers will require to ensure they can maintain care for the people they support. However, to enhance this resilience further, we recommend that adult social care providers take the following actions ahead of 29 March 2019:

  • Providers of care services do not need to stockpile products. However, where your organisation relies on receiving products directly from the EU on a short lead time basis (i.e. 24 to 48 hours), you may need to plan for longer lead times of around three days as part of business continuity plans.
  • Assess your ability to receive stock deliveries outside your current normal goods receipting hours.
  • Refer to business continuity plan guidance issued in the 21 December 2018 letters.
  • Work at local level with the relevant Director of Adult Social Services.

It is important that we are prepared to respond to any supply disruption incidents that may arise in the event of EU Exit with no deal. National Supply Disruption Response processes and operations will be in place to co-ordinate actions to address any supply disruption incidents across the health and care system.

Further details of the National Supply Disruption Response arrangements and how health and social care organisations and their suppliers can interact with this system will be communicated at the beginning of March.

I hope that you find this update useful and I thank you for everything you are doing to ensure that your component of the health and care system is ready for this eventuality. We will keep you updated on the Department’s plans.

Kind regards,