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NHS planning for supply problems following Brexit

NHS England is trying to ensure supply of essential medicines and equipment in a no deal scenario

Ingrid Torjesen

Monday, 02 July 2018

NHS England is undertaking "extensive" planning to prepare the health service for a no-deal Brexit scenario for trade which might cause shortages of essential medicines and equipment, its chief executive says.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Simon Stevens said: "Nobody's pretending this as a desirable situation, but if that's where we get to it will not have been unforeseen."

Last October he told MPs he had not been asked by the government to examine the potential impact of the UK leaving in March 2019 with no deal in place, but he told the Andrew Marr Show that this planning is taking place anyway.

"There is immediate planning which the health department, with other parts of government, are undertaking around securing medicine supply and equipment under different scenarios,” he said.

"That will obviously crystallise when it's clear later this autumn what the UK's position will be."

The UK is due to leave the European Union (EU) in March 2019, and EU negotiators have warned that time is running out to reach agreement before the autumn, so that a deal can be ratified by politicians.

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