MINISTERS have set up a “logistics hub” in Belgium to ship critical NHS supplies under a no-deal Brexit.
The Department of Health has also reserved its own dedicated shipping channel from mainland Europe to the UK to ensure vital medical products get through.
AFP or licensors Ministers have set up a ‘logistics hub’ to ship NHS supplies in the case of a no-deal Brexit
Officials say the plan will avoid potential gridlock at main ports, helping hospitals to access critical drugs and kit.
In a letter – seen by the Health Service Journal – DH chief commercial officer Steve Oldfield told suppliers they must register for access to the dedicated route.
The channel will be used to supply the NHS for products needed on a “just in time” basis, such as certain drugs.
Officials hope the venture will mean critical supplies will reach trusts within three days, even in a no-deal scenario.
It comes after Matt Hancock yesterday told Parliament he has already spent £11million of taxpayers’ cash on NHS contingency planning.
The Health Secretary also responded to fears that diabetics would struggle to get insulin in a no-deal Brexit.
It follows a joint statement from Diabetes UK and JDRF warning crashing out of the EU would not be safe for people reliant on the drug.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Hancock said two major insulin providers have made stockpiles of at least 12 weeks – double that requested by the Government for other medicines.
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As well as extra planning to ship in essential drugs, the NHS will also be able to fly in time sensitive products.
Mr Hancock added: “In the event of a problem at the border, at the Dover-Calais straits then we will be bringing in radioisotopes by air. We’ve already contracted an aircraft to make sure that this happens.
“So that part of the planning is very well advanced.”
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