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Eliot: Please don't stockpile medicines over Brexit.

Byline: CLAIRE HARRISON Nuneaton Reporter

A PLEA is being made to patients not to panic and stockpile medicines in fear the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

Chiefs at the George Eliot Hospital are urging people who have repeat prescriptions not to hoard medication in fear the UK could be left without access to medical supplies.

There have, according to the 'Eliot's chief executive Glen Burley, already been instances where people have been stockpiling in anticipation of Bexit.

Haq Khan, the hospital's lead on Brexit, said that the 'Eliot has contingency plans in place and they are not stockpiling medicines or equipment.

Glen Burley said: "The 'do not stockpile' message is not just an issue for local trusts, it is an issue for patients too and there are concerns that some patients are starting to do that with long term conditions and the assurance from above is that the supply chain will be managed.

"If they start doing that (stockpiling), they will start to create a problem for themselves, it is an important message to tell people not to stockpile medicines."

Mr Khan explained that the 'Eliot has to be prepared, as with every other hospital in the country, for a 'no deal' Brexit.

"Things like drugs and critical clinical supplies will be managed nationally and there is no need to stockpile," he said "Supplies we need to manage locally, there are around 100 suppliers that we have identified and we need to work through. Sixty have been identified as high or medium priority suppliers and we need to work through to find out what exactly we need to have in place to get through a no deal Brexit scenario and I will keep the board updated as to how we are addressing and responding."

Prem Singh, the hospital board chairman, asked if there were other risks, saying: "For an acute trust like ours, there could be a lot of other potential risks around medical devices, is that considered to be a risk for us?" Haq Khan replied: "Drugs medical devices and critical clinical supplies are all going to be managed nationally, so the rule about no stock piling applies for everything.

"We have identified, working with relevant partners, other critical supplies that we need to manage locally.

"That is the 60 suppliers we are working through in terms of what plans we actually need in place for those and the key issues, the six to eight weeks, post March 29, where there may be an issue withblockages at the borders, in terms of ships coming in, we have heard nationally about some of the contingency plans coming in to ensure that that supply chain continues and we do not get a backlog at the borders and custom checks.

"There are a number of contingency plans nationally but there are things that we can do locally as well."

Should there be a 'no deal' Brexit, there may be wider implications on the hospital in the longer term.

"The immediate concerns are about supply chain, in the longer run, there are other issues, potentially workforce issues that may become more apparent and we may need to tackle them in the future," the chief executive added.

"At the moment we are taking a business as usual approach.

"The supply chain will be managed by the NHS, not the individual but we need to keep getting that message out as it gets closer."

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 8, 2019
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