St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group has entered ‘emergency planning mode’ in preparation for a no deal Brexit, it has been revealed.
The UK is due to withdraw from the European Union on March 29.
On Tuesday, MPs rejected Theresa May’s Brexit agreement in what turned out to be the biggest ever government defeat in the House of Commons.
Prior to the vote, NHS organisations had already been told to enter emergency planning mode in the event the UK would leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place.
Professor Sarah O’Brien, the clinical accountable officer for St Helens CCG, delivered the news to the governing body this week.
Prof O’Brien said: “Clearly, given the 29th of March is now looming really close, all NHS organisations – that’s CCGs and providers – have been asked to go into proper emergency planning mode for a no deal Brexit.”
She added: “As a governing body we need to keep close sight of that in the next few days, weeks and months and obviously we need to watch whatever decision is made at the centre, around that, because that will obviously influence that.”
CCG papers say NHS England have asked all providers and CCGs to nominate a senior responsible officer to lead on emergency plans in preparation for a no deal Brexit.
Lisa Ellis, the CCG’s chief nurse, has been appointed as the senior responsible officer for the no deal preparations.
The CCG report says the biggest concern from the CCG’s perspective is around primary care, and the risk of stock piling causing problems with demand and supply of medicines.
It adds that new guidance from NHS England and NHS Improvement will help the CCG update its business continuity plan.