Brexit image

On the 23rd October, the Department of Health and Social Care issued further information related to medical devices in the event of a no deal Brexit, requesting suppliers prepare contingency plans to ensure minimal disruption.

In a new letter from Matthew Hancock MP to medical devices suppliers, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care detailed the Government’s contingency planning approach, as well as the measures it is asking suppliers to take in the event of a no deal scenario.

Set to leave the EU on March 29th 2019, negotiations between the UK and the EU are still ongoing. In his letter, Matthew Hancock emphasises that the Government has made progress, stating that a no deal Brexit is an unlikely scenario – a position held in the letter from August.

Alongside his original letter in August, the Government released guidance detailing how medical devices would be regulated if the UK leaves the EU on 29th March 2019 without a Brexit deal.

Stock of NHS of Supply

The Department says as part of its contingency planning approach, it has undertaken an analysis of supply chains for medical devices and clinical consumables, identifying products routinely imported into the UK from countries in the EU as it prepares to increase stock levels at a national level.

To facilitate the process, NHS Supply Chain is contacting suppliers who routinely import products from other EU countries to establish the action required to achieve the additional stock holding.

A request for contingency plans

Additionally, NHS Supply Chain is asking all suppliers that source products from the EU to undertake a review of their supply chains in order to determine what measures they need to take in the event of a no deal Brexit.

For companies that already have contingency plans into place, the Department is urging suppliers to share details of their arrangements with mdcc-contingencyplanning@dh.gsi.gov.uk.

Working with industry

As well as prepping suppliers in the industry, the Department says it has implemented measures to ensure the continued movement of medical devices and clinical consumables routinely supplied from other European Union countries directly to NHS organisations.

In his letter, Matthew Hancock said: “In conjunction with representatives from industry and trade associations, we have established an industry working group to test and refine our contingency plans, and the mechanisms by which suppliers will interact with these processes. It is planned to complete this process during October to support communications on the details of these arrangements in November.”

Industry response

In response to the recent information from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Mandie Lavin, Director-General of BHTA, says the Association is remaining closely involved with developments.

“The BHTA will of course continue to keep our members posted and to represent your interests,” she confirmed.

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