St Helens doctor raises concerns of Brexit impact on medical supplies

The former chairman of the St Helens GP federation has raised concerns over the long-term impact of Brexit on medical supplies, claiming shortages in his own practice has become a “daily issue”.

Thursday, 11th April 2019, 10:22 am
Updated Thursday, 11th April 2019, 12:24 pm
Lisa Ellis, the CCGs chief nurse, said the CCG has not seen any impact caused by Brexit to date

Dr David Reade told the governing body of St Helens CCG on Wednesday that his practice, Hall Street Medical Centre, has increasingly seen shortages of certain medical supplies over the past six months.

This was after Lisa Ellis, the CCG’s chief nurse, said the CCG has not seen any impact caused by Brexit to date, although there are concerns around recent shortages of medical supplies.

But despite this, Dr Reade, who is a new member of the CCG’s governing body, said he has seen an increase in the “unavailability” of certain medicines in recent months.

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“Over the last six months it has increased,” Dr Reade said. “It is becoming an increasing problem.

“Where once it was a monthly issue, it is now becoming a daily issue.”

Ms Ellis, who has been appointed as the CCG’s senior responsible officer for its no deal preparations, said this is “not a new problem” and has been an issue for a “very long time”.

However, she said it would be “hard to say” if any shortages are a direct result of Brexit.

But due to the uncertainty around the UK’s exit from the EU and any potential impacts it may cause to the supply of medicines, medical devices and clinical consumables, it has been added to the CCG’s risk register.

Currently, all NHS organisations have entered into ‘emergency planning mode’ in the event the UK would leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place.

Ms Ellis said initially a 30-page action plan was compiled but this has now been overturned in favour of daily situation reports.

The biggest concern for the CCG’s perspective is around primary care, and the risk of stock piling causing problems with demand and supply of medicines, a previous governing body report said.