Brexit Update: PSNC contingency planning and contractor actions

Brexit Update: PSNC contingency planning and contractor actions

January 16, 2019

Pharmacy teams will be aware that on 15th January 2019, MPs rejected the Prime Minister’s proposed Brexit deal in a vote in Parliament.

The UK remains on course to leave the EU on 29th March 2019, with a no-deal Brexit scenario still a possibility.

PSNC’s objective remains to safeguard the supply of medicines to pharmacies and their patients, whatever the outcome of the ongoing political debate about Brexit. This work remains critical, and we are continuing to work with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to make sure that contingency measures are in place.

Actions for Contractors

Contractors are reminded that DHSC issued EU Exit Operational Readiness Guidance late last year. This guidance sets out the actions that contractors should take to prepare for a no-deal exit from the EU and can be found here.

Contractors have been asked to take note of Action Card 1 of the guidance (pages 16-24), which indicates that all providers of NHS services, including NHS trusts and foundation trusts, primary care organisations and independent sector organisations which provide NHS services, ‘must consider and plan for the risks that may arise due to a ‘no-deal’ exit’.

PSNC has provided a summary of the key actions for contractors: PSNC Briefing 005/19: Key actions for pharmacy contractors to prepare for a no-deal exit from the EU

PSNC Brexit Position

Commenting after the vote on 15th January, PSNC Chief Executive, Simon Dukes, said:

“Maintaining the supply of medicines to UK patients and community pharmacies must be a priority whatever the eventual approach to Brexit and we are pleased that dialogue on this has already been happening. PSNC, alongside the other community pharmacy representatives, has been working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to plan for all potential scenarios, including a no-deal Brexit.

Given the ongoing uncertainty this work is now more critical than ever and PSNC will be deploying all necessary resources to it. While we hope that Parliament will, in time, be able to reach consensus on the approach to Brexit, our focus will remain on contingency planning with DHSC to ensure that patients can continue to access the medicines they need, when they need them, and that the impact on community pharmacies is minimised.

The diversion of Government resource to Brexit planning has already pushed back the beginning of negotiations on community pharmacy funding and the future role of the sector; this is not an exclusive problem to pharmacy but we are concerned that this delay is now likely to continue.”

Further Information and Communications Support

All the latest information and guidance on Brexit matters will be posted on our dedicated page:

In particular, this week we have published a Patient Leaflet to help pharmacies to explain any medicine supply issues to their patients.

PSNC and LPCs are continuing to receive a high volume of media queries about Brexit and medicines supply issues. If you have any media queries and need support with these, please contact the Communications Team via:


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