Social care providers have been issued with further guidance on dealing with potential supply chain disruption following Brexit.
The latest guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care follows the awarding of medicines and medical products contracts as part of ‘no deal’ preparations earlier this month.
Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, told CHP: “Care providers have been preparing for Brexit since the referendum. The areas that are causing care providers the biggest concern are issues related to whether or not, the government will insure the supply of drugs, equipment, food, fuel and other essential commodities. Care services have taken reasonable steps to ensure that their suppliers provide them with reassurance about supplies, but none of us can know what the response of European governments will be to the free movement of goods and services, and to that extent, the consequence of Brexit are unknown to us all.”
Nadra Ahmed, executive chair of the National Care Association, added: “National Care Association have been supporting members with help and advice on the implications of a no deal scenario since early January when we were preparing for the March exit. We have sent out a checklist for people to use involving staff at all levels to take areas of responsibility in the event of a breakdown within the service. Furthermore, being part of the DHSC Forum on this we have been able to update members on an almost weekly basis about areas which have the highest levels of concern locally and nationally.”
The latest guidance advises social care providers to raise their concerns with their local authority representative, as well as other local partners, including CCGs and other relevant NHS contacts, in the event of a problem with the supply of a service or a product. If there is a serious risk to the safety or wellbeing of service users, providers are advised to contact their local safeguarding hub.
Operators are also urged to contact their local care provider association or trade provider representative who may have mitigation plans in place.
Providers are advised to contact their suppliers to source alternatives or put in place mitigating actions. If the issue relates to medicines, providers should contact their local pharmacist.
The DHSC has established the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) to monitor the supply situation in the health and social care and co-ordinate and co-ordinate actions.
The NSDR can be contacted on:
Freephone number in the UK: 0800 915 9964
Direct line: 0044 (0) 191 283 6543