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CooperBurnett Solicitors Tom Lumsden, Partner discusses care homes and a no deal Brexit.

By Tom Lumsden, Partner

The Government has prepared some advice for care home operators recently in relation to various matters surrounding a no deal Brexit.

As far as the supply of medicines, medical devices and clinical consumables is concerned, the advice is not to stockpile any such items. Stockpiling could cause shortages in other areas and put service users at risk. Operators are advised to take certain action including where the operator relies on receiving products from the EU with short lead times of 24 to 48 hours The advice is that longer lead times of five days should be implemented. Operators are also advised to be prepared to receive stock deliveries outside normal hours.

In terms of the supply of non-clinical consumables, goods and services, these include IT service agreements and infrastructure, waste management, facilities management, service maintenance contracts, laundry services, food and catering. Any risks and issues associated with the supply of non-clinical consumables should feature in an operator’s business continuity plan and/or contingency plan.

The Government has set up Local Resilience Forums (LRFs). These are Multi-Agency Partnerships which plan to prepare for localised incidents and catastrophic emergencies.

Operators are advised to review their business continuity plans regularly, and to make sure that these are up to date and ensure that they have plans in place for the months following Brexit.

Workforce capacity should be reviewed regularly, and any business continuity plan should cover the supply of staff needed to deliver services before and after Brexit.

Any staff who are EU citizens should be told about the EU Settlement Scheme, which allows EU Nationals to register for settled status if they have been in the UK for five years, or pre-settled status if they have been here for fewer than five years.

Professional qualifications will still be recognised if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Professional qualifications will include those from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, which will be recognised by all professional regulators in the health and social care sectors.

If operators experience disruption after the exit day, there is a possibility to refer matters to the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR). The NSDR can help with disruption to the supply of medicines and vaccines, medical devices and clinical consumables that normal procedures cannot resolve. It does not matter whether the disruption is related to Brexit or not.

The Government’s advice shows that whilst some thought has been given to preparing for a no deal Brexit in this sector, the detail of the assistance that will be available is lacking.

In summary, operators will have to ‘wait and see’ how well the various agencies can provide help if there is a problem with supplies.

If you've got any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Partner, Tom Lumsden on tel: 01892 515022 or

This blog is not intended as legal advice that can be relied upon and CooperBurnett does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of its contents.

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August 20, 2019
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