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Brexit: Nurse Voices Fears Over Health Board’s No-Deal Preparations - News - Nursesarena Forum

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Brexit: Nurse Voices Fears Over Health Board’s No-Deal Preparations by Idowu Olabode : October 18, 2019, 05:36:40 PM
 A SENIOR nurse has criticised a Scottish health authority over its preparations for a No-Deal Brexit, which she described as “a multi-faceted bowl of chaos”.

The community nurse in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) area was speaking to The National after receiving a communication from the board’s procurement department advising on “preparedness in the event of a No-Deal Brexit”.

It said preparations included: “National buffer stocks of regularly used items; an escalation process to manage any stock shortages; ensuring ward stock are topped up prior to the end of October; alternative delivery routes into the UK.”

 In areas which were used to receiving next-day delivery from suppliers, it said there was a “higher risk” of items not arriving on time and in the event of No Deal, that risk was exacerbated.

It added: “We highly recommend that you plan ahead wherever possible and allow 7-10 days for delivery during the period after a No-Deal Brexit.”

However, the community nursing specialist, who did not want to be identified, said: “We can’t forecast what we’re going to need because we’re dealing with patients and we won’t know what illnesses or conditions they’ll be coming to us with.

“I work in the community nursing sector and if we did order medication and other items in advance, where would we store them?

“There’s not a lot of storage space in the community clinics as it is, so we’d have to pile them on the floor, which is against the regulations and the health inspectorate certainly wouldn’t like that.

“That’s bad enough in the community, but when you get into A&E where controlled drugs are stored there’s only a very small locked cupboard where every pill has to be counted and that will pose its own problems.”

The nurse went on to talk about a shortage of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) patches and her fears over continence pads.

She said the type used by the NHS were made in France and it could be difficult – and more expensive – to source them following Brexit.

 If they were in short supply, she said patients could start using “anything they can get their hands on”, which could lead to infection and illness.

She added: “The end of free movement will see a rise in the number of people – asylum seekers or those worried about their immigration status – not bothering to sign up with a GP.

“It means A&E departments will take a hit if they become ill. People turning up at an A&E department can’t be refused treatment, so the addition of more people who should actually be seeing a GP is going to put an immense strain on A&E departments, which will in turn have a knock-on effect on hospital waiting times. It hasn’t been thought through properly at all – it’s a multi-faceted bowl of chaos.”

A spokesperson for NHSGGC said: “Staff are not being told to stock 10 days’ worth of medicine; they are being advised to allow extra time for delivery in the event of a No-Deal Brexit. Our pharmacy team and community pharmacies have significant experience of managing medicines supplies.

“We regularly review our Brexit preparation plans and staff have been reminded not to change the stock levels of medicines they order and store.”


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