The UK exited the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020 and the government announced on 24 December that the United Kingdom and the EU had agreed a Trade and Co-operation Agreement.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is leading the response to the end of the transition period across the health and care sector. NHS England and NHS Improvement are working closely with the DHSC to ensure that the NHS is well prepared for any possible disruption that may arise.
Health Minister, Edward Argar MP, on behalf of the DHSC, wrote to the health and social care sectors on 30 December 2020 to provide an update on the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement and government’s preparations for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.
Professor Keith Willett has resumed his role as EU Exit Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) (along with Strategic Incident Director for COVID-19). Professor Willett wrote to the NHS on 16 September 2020 to request that each NHS organisation appoint an EU exit SRO. Professor Willett wrote to the NHS on 4 November 2020 to advise that the system response to the end of the transition period has been stood up.
Following the announcement of the deal between UK and EU, Professor Willett wrote to the NHS on 30 December 2020 to advise of the outcome and next steps. Key messages for the NHS following the announcement of the agreement were also shared.
Professor Willett provided a further update on the EU exit response on 20 April 2021 providing information on the updated timetable for border controls as well as providing an update on data, reciprocal care and cost recovery.
Continuity of supply
Dr Keith Ridge, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, wrote to colleagues across the NHS on 10 December 2020 to advise of the measures taken to help ensure continuity of supply of medicines.
Professor Willett wrote to heads of procurement on 22 December 2020 to outline how the national supply disruption response (NSDR) will operate in relation to the end of the EU transition period.
Information for patients on the availability of medicines and medical products has been published on the NHS.UK website.