The 'B' Word...

Posted by Dr Catherine Rutland on 19/09/2019

Deal or No Deal – guidance for dentists preparing for Brexit (Part one)

For those of us in the dentistry profession the outcome of Brexit and how we leave the EU will have a significant impact on a whole host of areas; from recruitment and retention to medical device supply chains, how we leave the EU affects our business and our patients in a very real way.

At Simplyhealth Professionals, we continue to engage with stakeholders, professional bodies and central government to understand the impact of Brexit – deal or no deal – will have on our dental practice members. We continue to liaise closely with the Association of Dental Groups (ADG) and other professional bodies to keep abreast of updated guidance and the changing political situation as it relates to regulatory changes, recruitment and retention and supply chains.

With the UK set to leave the EU on 31st October with or without a deal, up-to-date information and guidance for this blog is based upon advice emanating from the Department of Health & Social Care, the British Dental Association (BDA), the Association of Dental Groups (ADG) and wider government and industry sources.

Preparing to Exit the EU

As part of its EU exit preparations the DHSC, NHS England and Public Health England (PHE) have established the Operational Response Centre to lead on responding to any potential disruption to the delivery of health and care services in England caused by exiting the EU.

Contact details for the regional EU Exit leads can be found here.

Preparing for No Deal

With No Deal preparations being stepped up over the summer, the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) has published The EU Exit Operational Readiness Guidance which summarises government contingency plans and advice for preparing for exiting the EU and can be accessed here. This document will cover the key points relevant to dental service providers and should be read in full.

Supply of medicines

As dentists, the smooth supply of medicines and drugs is vital to the continued running of practices. While government works to ensure that medical supplies can continue to flow into the UK without disruption, dental practices are discouraged from stockpiling beyond usual stock levels and clinicians need not write longer prescriptions. If your patients ask, then you should also discourage them from stockpiling prescribed medicines.

The EU Commission has stated, in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, it will impose full third country controls on people and goods entering the EU from the UK which may prove disruptive to supply chains. This is naturally of concern to everyone in our profession.

Pharmaceutical companies that supply prescription drugs from the EU or European Economic Area (EEA) are asked to ensure a minimum of six weeks’ additional supply beyond usual operational buffer stocks is in place. UK manufacturers of pharmaceuticals using the short strait crossings (i.e. Dover etc.) have been advised to review their supply arrangements to ensure ‘sufficient roll-on, roll-off freight capacity.’

Supply of medical devices

Similar to pharmaceuticals, suppliers of medical devices are urged to increase stock levels of medical devices at a national level in England. In addition to this, the DHSC is asking suppliers of EU/EEA products to review supply chains and determine what measures need to be in place to ensure health providers have access to those products.

As Brexit develops and more information, guidance and advice is provided, Simplyhealth Professionals will be keeping all of our member dentists informed via the dashboard.

Part two of this blog will be available for all dentists early next week