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​GPs asked to provide Brexit plan and practice lead in case of no-deal

GPs must provide a plan for how they will cope in the case of a no-deal Brexit, according to some CCGs.

GPs in Nottinghamshire are expected to carry-out ‘EU exit readiness planning, local risk assessments and prepare plans for wider potential impacts’, and nominate a lead in the practice.

Notices appeared in NHS Nottingham City CCG, NHS Nottingham North and East CCG, NHS Nottingham West CCG, and NHS Rushcliffe CCG board papers, which said GP practices should do this in line with Government planning guidance.

It has been revealed that the Department of Health and Social Care will spend £11m on medicine shortage preparations, in case of a no-deal Brexit, a figure that health secretary Matt Hancock said could rise.

Mr Hancock previously announced that the Government was building extra ‘refrigeration capacity’ in case no-deal Brexit leaves the UK short of certain medicines.

However, he warned GPs not to stockpile medical goods or write longer prescriptions due to Brexit, otherwise they will be 'investigated'.

The Nottinghamshire CCGs' board papers said: ‘The CCGs are preparing for a “no deal” scenario and risks and contingencies are being reported through the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) and NHS England. To support this, the DHSC has released a document outlining actions for providers and commissioners.

‘All NHS organisations and those providing services to the NHS, including GP practices, are required to undertake local EU exit readiness planning, local risk assessments and prepare plans for wider potential impacts.’

GP Dr Steve Kell, former chair of NHS Bassetlaw CCG in Nottinghamshire, told Pulse he received a letter.

He said: 'We got a letter, saying that every practice has to have a lead for exiting the EU and a plan. It was particularly around medicine shortages, I think it's more applicable for dispensing practices.'

A spokesperson for the Greater Nottingham Clinical Commissioning Partnership, which represents  Nottingham City, Nottingham North and East, Nottingham West, and Rushcliffe CCGs, confirmed practices had been asked to review their business plans, but were not required to submit them.

The spokesperson said: 'The CCGs have reviewed business continuity arrangements and completed plans in response to Brexit guidance.  

'As a responsible commissioner, we have also asked practices to review their own business continuity plans against the Government’s Brexit guidance and technical notices.  We have not asked GP practices to submit their own individual plans or identify a senior responsible officer.'

The DHSC EU exit operational readiness guidance states NHS providers - under which GP practices are categorised - must:

  • Confirm escalation routes for different types of issues potentially arising from or affected by EU Exit into the regional NHS EU Exit teams
  • Note a nominated regional NHS lead for EU Exit and their contact details
  • Escalate any issues identified as having a potentially widespread impact immediately to the regional EU Exit team
  • Confirm the organisation's senior responsible officer for EU Exit preparation and identify them to the regional EU Exit team as soon as possible

According to the document, the officer role will involve 'reporting emerging EU Exit-related problems, and ensuring your organisation has updated its business continuity plan to factor in all potential "no-deal" exit impacts'.

Both the BMA and RCGP have publically supported a second EU exit referendum – the latter of which broke its normal protocol of not making political statements to do so – warning that Brexit could ‘seriously undermine’ the NHS and patient safety.

The DHSC did not wish to comment.

Readers' comments (33)

  • I can't believe you are all so flippant about this. As soon as my CCG (Medway) sent us the spreadsheet with questions such as "How would a powercut affect access to records?"and" How will you prepare for a nuclear winter? " I called a practice meeting and declared that I have appointed myself supreme ruler. It is now compulsory for all staff to watch training films such as 28 Days Later and The Walking Dead. We are stockpiling vaginal speculae to ensure continuity of cervical screening plus Kit Kats (for the supreme leaders coffee breaks). Work is in progress to convert my consulting room into a safe room and I have borrowed a shotgun from a friend. Finally I have reassured the staff that, proving they do as I say, I am unlikely to need clause 17.4 of the contingency plan... compulsory human sacrifice. Frankly:I believe a no-deal brexit could be the best thing to happen to my practice (apart from Primary Care Networks of course)

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  • Jmd

    totally agree with Truth Finder

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  • Council of Despair

    my main worry is the rise of Cthulhu - has anyone planned for that?

    what about Godzilla, planet X, alien invasions - surely it must be part of CQC checks by now?

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