Supply of medicines in the event of a no-deal Exit from the EU
Many of our patients rely on a variety of medicines to manage their conditions and we fully understand that many of you, and your carers, will be concerned about the supply of medicines in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The government has developed a UK-wide plan to make sure medicines and vaccines get into the UK in the event of a no-deal exit from the EU. Pharmaceutical companies that supply the UK with medicines from, or via, the EU have been asked to ensure they have at least six weeks’ additional supply of medicines in the UK than they would normally have.
The actions we are taking
We are working closely with our NHS partners, our wholesalers and others to make sure we continue to have enough supplies of medicines and clinical equipment for our patients.
We are in discussions with our suppliers, including our homecare delivery partners (organisations that deliver medicines directly to patients’ homes), to ensure they have good arrangements in place for a no-deal exit from the EU. The government has advised that NHS organisations and patients should not stockpile medicines and that clinicians should not write NHS prescriptions for longer than necessary.
How you can help
As usual, make sure you have enough ‘buffer stock’ by keeping at least two to four weeks’ worth of your medicines at all times (as advised by your clinical team), and requesting repeat prescriptions or homecare deliveries well in advance of this supply running out. That will give your pharmacy or homecare provider enough time to deal with any shortages should they arise.
It’s important to note that this is standard practice not new advice.
If you have concerns
Occasionally, the NHS does experience temporary disruption to the supply of some medicines, and we have tried-and-tested ways of making sure you get medicines and medical products, even under difficult circumstances.
If you are experiencing any difficulty getting hold of a supply of your medicines, or if you have any concerns about their availability, please discuss this with your clinical team.
If you have specific enquiries about individual products, please contact the Department of Health and Social Care on 020 7210 4850.
More details are available on the government website and NHS England's website, including information on medicines, the preparations the NHS is taking and frequently asked questions.
Information for patients about their medicines
Online information about medicines for mental health conditions (available for patients and staff).
The choice and medication website http://www.choiceandmedication.org/nelft offers all patients access to online information about mental health conditions and the drugs used to treat them.
Information can be accessed by either searching the condition or a specific drug or drugs.
There are printable leaflets, including easy read leaflets for patients with learning difficulties and printable leaflets in different languages.
People have the right to be involved in discussions and make informed decisions about their care and this includes medicines that are prescribed.
However, the large number of medicines available means that there are some benefits in having reviews of how and when they should be used within each Trust and producing a local formulary. This is usually presented as a list of medicines, some of which may be given preference, based on a number of factors such as the evidence of which work best for a given condition, side effects, interactions with other medicines, ease of use and cost. The decision making on which medicines are included is made by a multidisciplinary team.
Due to the large geographical area and variation of clinical services NELFT has a number of formularies.
Several formularies are in use across NELFT. The table below is to help staff locate the correct formulary (as well as hospital only drug lists, shared care guidelines and prescribing guidances depending on where staff are working within the Trust).
|Palliative Care Formularies|
|Wound Care Formularies|
|Emollient Formulary and Guidance|
(for antibiotics formulary do not use this tab, use the Antibiotics tab above which has the most recent version)
The benefits of local formularies may include:
- improving patient outcomes by optimising the use of medicines
- supporting the inclusion of patient factors in decisions about medicines
- improving local care pathways
- improving collaboration between health professionals and commissioners
- improving quality by reducing inappropriate variations in clinical care
- improving quality through access to cost effective medicines
- supporting the supply of medicines across a local health economy
- supporting financial management and expenditure on medicines across health communities
- supporting prescribers to follow guidance published by professional regulatory bodies in relation to medicines and prescribing.
Acute Trust Formulary & Hospital only drug lists
|NELFT wide||Essex boroughs
(Basildon, Brentwood, Thurrock)
(Barking & Dagenham, Redbridge, Havering)
|Acute Trust Formulary &
Hospital only drug lists
|BTUH hospital only||BHR Hospital only||Barts Hospital only|
NELFT shared care guidelines
NICE Technology Appraisals
When a new medicine is launched, NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) will review the medication to decide whether it should be made available on the NHS. These reviews are called technology appraisals.
The NHS Constitution for England, produced by the Department of Health, provides patients with the right that medicines that have been considered by NICE through the technology appraisal process and given a positive assessment should be made available, where appropriate, and therefore be included in the local formulary.
The Constitution also provides a right for patients to have decisions about medicines that have not yet been considered by, or have not received a positive recommendation for use in the NHS through, a NICE technology appraisal process to be made by the local NHS using a robust assessment of the best available evidence.
Further information on NICE guidance and technology appraisals can be found here: