GP warns of ‘scary’ consequences of no-deal Brexit

Stock photo of a GP. Photo: Denise Bradley

Stock photo of a GP. Photo: Denise Bradley - Credit: EDP, Archant

A Great Yarmouth GP has warned of potential 'chaos' in surgeries if a no deal Brexit meant there was a shortage of medications.

Dr Wendy Outwin, who said she recognised lots of people in the town had voted leave, said Brexit was constantly being discussed in the health service.

And she said even though letters from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) were trying to reassure those on the frontline, it had done quite the opposite for her.

'I am worried,' she said.

'I've been a GP for 24 years in Great Yarmouth and getting the health sector to be stockpiling and airlifting drugs is quite scary.'

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In a letter received by Dr Outwin and signed by health secretary Matt Hancock it said local stockpiling of medications was not necessary and could cause shortages elsewhere.

But that Mr Hancock had asked pharmaceutical companies 'to ensure they have a minimum of six weeks' additional supply in the UK, over and above their business as usual operational buffer stocks, by 29 March, 2019 to prepare for a possible 'no deal' scenario'.

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It also said: 'Our UK-wide contingency plan also contains other measures, including arrangements for the air freight of medicines with a short shelf life, such as medical radioisotopes.'

Dr Outwin said there was not any give in the NHS to deal with extra pressure which could be caused by a no deal Brexit.

She said: 'Everything at the moment is cuts. If you think a GP is doing 100 prescriptions a day at least, any shortage of things is going to be difficult. It's just unbelievable really, that it's in writing from the government that this should be planned for.

'I think a lot of people can't believe it's ever going to happen and in a way I can't believe it would ever happen.

'Some shortages are not down to Brexit. But all I care about is my patients, all I care about is their welfare and it could be chaos.'

The DHSC was approached for comment.

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