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Letter from Jennie Stephens, Chief Officer for Adult Care and Health, to adult social care providers

Devon County Council
County Hall
Topsham Road
Exeter
EX2 4QD

4 March 2019

Dear Colleague,

Many of you will already be aware that Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister of State for Care, has written to Adult Social Care Providers concerning the government’s continuing preparations in the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Her letter, which I reproduce below, encourages us not to stockpile medicines as the Department of Health and Social Care are putting in place contingencies to secure continuity of medical supplies, but to consider our business continuity arrangements including regarding other supplies and our workforce.

In that letter she encourages providers to work with their local Director of Adult Social Services and so I am using this opportunity to outline the preparations we are making and how we can help each other to ensure we are as well prepared as possible for all Brexit scenarios in what is a rapidly changing picture.

I have initiated a review and update of our business continuity arrangements to ensure Devon County Council’s directly provided services, and our commissioner and care management functions, have plans in place to adapt to any scenario including those that might put pressure on the demand for our services or our collective capacity to meet that demand. That work is well underway across the council and with our partners.

We have also long been mindful of the implications of Brexit if a deal is done, in particular on our workforce and the many valued EU nationals who work to deliver health and care in Devon. We will continue to work with you to promote career opportunities through our Proud to Care campaign.

As a sector we continue to lobby MPs and government with our concerns and our Chief Executive is representing his colleagues in the south-west in liaising with the government directly on Brexit related issues.

I have received letters from several of you regarding your own preparations and would like to use this opportunity to thank you for doing what you can to ensure we maintain continuity of service to the vulnerable people we care for, support and promote the independence of.

I am making available an email address for you to contact me about any concerns you have and notify us of any impacts you are experiencing as a result of Brexit including to staffing and supplies: socialcarebusinessrelations-mailbox@devon.gov.uk. Staff will also be phoning some of you to discuss your preparedness and any concerns you have.

We will be using this website to communicate any new information as well as through our usual channels.

There is a lot of information available on the potential implications of Brexit for the health and care system. Here are some of the links I find most useful:

Thank you again for all you are doing to prepare for any eventuality regarding the UK’s departure from the EU. With so many unknowns, it is a testing time, but we have much experience of working together to keep the people we serve safe and well whatever arises, and I am as committed to working together in that common endeavour as I know you are.

Kind regards,

Jennie Stephens.
Chief Officer for Adult Care and Health.

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