Brexit information for GPs and your team

In October 2018 our governing council voted to back a People's Vote and opposed the UK's exit from the European Union. Since then we have written to all politicians with responsibility for both health and Brexit and called on Government to issue more guidance for GPs and their colleagues on the practical arrangements being put in place to mitigate the negative impacts of Brexit for the NHS and patients. We also wrote an open letter to all candidates in the Conservative Party leadership race calling on them to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Across the UK, we have contributed to discussions with respective governments and policy makers in each nation to ensure that our stance on Brexit and the risk that it poses to our profession is recognised. In Scotland, we have written to the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer outlining our concerns and the specific risks posed by Brexit with regards to access of medicines and impacts on GP workload. In Northern Ireland, we have also been engaged in discussions with the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer on serious medicine shortages and we have raised with senior officials in the Department of Health the specific risks that Brexit poses to general practice in Northern Ireland. In Wales, we issued a public statement following an announcement made in the Welsh Assembly by the Minister for Health and Social Services on the possible impact of Brexit on the workforce.


Resources in the event of a no-deal

To mitigate any risk to the supply of medicines in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Department of Health and Social Care has developed a "Serious Shortage Protocol".

This allows pharmacists to supply medicines which differ in form, quantity or strength from what is ordered by the prescriber. Alongside colleagues from the BMA and Royal Pharmaceutical Society we have been involved in discussions about what this protocol might look like in practice.

Over the course of those conversations we have called on the government to provide sufficient operational detail to GPs and patients. To help ensure this we have drafted our own FAQs and shared them with relevant colleagues at NHS England and the DHSC to complement their own materials.

We believe that measures to ensure the uninterrupted supply of medicines in the event of a no-deal Brexit are extremely important. However, it is crucial for patients, pharmacists, GPs and their teams, that extensive communication is carried out about the practical implications of the protocol.

NHS England have produced a series of pages aimed at patients and healthcare professionals, we have outlined some of this content below:

This contains information about the actions that providers and commissioners of health and social care services should take to prepare for, and manage, the risks of a no-deal exit scenario.

This provides information on how patients should receive their medicines if there's a no-deal Brexit.

NHS England have published a frequently asked questions page for patients about prescription medicines and medical products.

A general page providing further links to communications from NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care.


In the devolved nations there are also a number of resources

The electronic Medicines Consortium updates their database of available medicines and provides a useful resource for GPs and prescribers. 

The Scottish Government provide up to date information on preparations within health and social care for the possibility of Brexit, including regular updates on medicine supplies. 

The Welsh NHS Confederation has prepared a Brexit toolkit which includes a high-level summary of preparations for Brexit and an FAQ document for Brexit which is aimed at people working in the NHS and social care services. 

The Welsh Government has prepared and continue to update their guidance for health and social care professional on the eventuality of Brexit.

In Northern Ireland, the Department of Health continue to provide relevant and up to date guidance on Brexit.

Our colleagues at BMANI have published a briefing addressing areas of concern specifically for doctors working in Northern Ireland.

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