GP warns ‘lives will be at risk’ if no deal Brexit causes medicine delays
PUBLISHED: 16:44 29 August 2019 | UPDATED: 19:26 29 August 2019
A GP has warned that patients lives will be at risk if prescriptions bounce because of delays caused by a no deal Brexit.
Dr Wendy Outwin, a GP at the Park Surgery in Great Yarmouth, said staff at her practice were worried about the impact leaving the EU without a deal in October would have on those they treated.
Dr Outwin, who has been outspoken in her support for remaining in the EU, said the county's doctors received letters from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) last week. In one letter, seen by this newspaper, health chiefs aid they were writing to "all health and care providers to ensure preparation for a potential no deal exit from the EU".
The letter said: "We understand that these circumstances may create many challenges in caring for and informing your patients both before and after October 31st."
The letter gave contact details for concerned GPs to get in touch with CCGs, or the National Supply Disruption Centre, but Dr Outwin said this gave her and colleagues little reassurance.
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She said: "[The letters] did not say a lot really, but on the other hand if they are not worried why are they sending that out? You've got a phone number on there to phone if I have a problem with prescriptions being blocked but many patients are on prescriptions which are not able to be substituted and the working day is already very hectic without calls from pharmacies to say a prescription cannot be filled."
Dr Outwin said: "We are worried in my practice. If there's a no deal there could be delays at the border because they can't send things straight through and things don't arrive in the pharmacies.
"As far as registering new patients from other EU countries I'm not sure how that's going to work.
"It's the first time in my whole career of 30 years we've had this situation, it's unbelievable really."
In a tweet Dr Outwkin added: "If prescriptions are bounced because of delays, lives will be at risk."
A Department of Health spokesman said: "As part of a responsible government, the department is doing everything appropriate to prepare for Brexit. We want to reassure patients that we should be fully prepared for leaving on 31 October, whatever the circumstances. We are taking all appropriate steps, meaning our plans should ensure the supply of medicines and medical products remains uninterrupted when we leave the EU."