Preparing for EU Exit

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is leading the response to EU Exit across the health and care sector. DHSC is also the key contact for the sector with the Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) and the Cabinet Office. NHS England and NHS Improvement are working closely with DHSC to best prepare the NHS.

DHSC has produced EU Exit Operational Guidance which outlines the actions that providers and commissioners of health and social care services should take to prepare for, and manage, the risks of a no-deal exit scenario.

Please keep an eye on these web pages as in the coming weeks we will be publishing specific information on the key areas of work listed below:

  • Continuity of supply
  • Workforce
  • Reciprocal healthcare and overseas cost recovery
  • Clinical Trial Studies and European Reference Networks (ERNs)
  • Data

Professor Keith Willett, Medical Director for Acute Care and Emergency Preparedness and and Strategic Commander for EU Exit at NHS England and Improvement, has issued a series of letters to clinical commissioning group and trust chief executives to update them on EU Exit preparations, regional EU Exit contacts and actions that need to be taken locally. Letters issued, on 4 February and 20 March and 29 March respectively.

Professor Willett then issued a further letter on 18 April, updating clinical commissioning group and trust chief executives on what actions need to be taken following the further extension of the Article 50 period to 31 October.

Further information on Ongoing NHS preparations for EU Exit was issued on 22 July.

Guidance for primary care contractors has also been issued on 10 April 2019.

The NHS England and NHS Improvement operational response will be based on enhancing our existing command and control protocols used in emergency preparedness, resilience and response (EPRR) in common with a unified approach agreed across Public Health England and NHS Blood and Transplant. These modes of operating, including our approach to information-gathering, assurance, and issuing direction and advice – should already be familiar.

Information for patients and the public

We’re working closely with DHSC, patient groups and others to provide relevant information to patients and the public. Information for patients is available from

Specific enquiries should be directed to the DHSC, who can be contacted using the following details:

Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries Unit
Department of Health and Social Care
39 Victoria Street
United Kingdom

Telephone: 0207 210 4850

Contact Form: General enquiries