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10 tips for care providers on preparing for Brexit

The deadline of 29 March, when the UK plans to leave the EU, is fast approaching and care providers will want to have a plan in place for all eventualities.

1. Appoint an individual to lead on Brexit
Appoint a person within the company who will be responsible for leading on the preparations for exiting the EU.

2. Review the Business Continuity Plan
Review the risks associated with an EU Exit, including one without a deal, and ensure your Business Continuity Plan is mindful of them. The worst case scenario includes risks to workforce recruitment and retention, cost increases, food and fuel shortages, and impacts on the supply chain.

3. Test the Business Continuity Plan
Test your plans against possible scenarios to ensure they are fit for purpose.

4. Work with commissioners
Work with local partners to inform, review and communicate the plan, including commissioners in health and local authorities.

5. Keep people informed
Ensure staff understand what is happening and support is provided to service users and their families who may be concerned.

6. Be aware of government guidance, including on medicines
The government had said there is no need to stockpile medicine and has put contingency plans in place and issued guidance on them.

7. Assess your supply chain 
The same applies to medical devices and consumables as it does to medication, but not to non-medical supplies and risks to these should be assessed and contingencies made accordingly.

8. Consider changes that might impact on the recruitment and retention of EU workers and the status of their professional qualifications
Many providers employ EU workers and the government have issued guidance on registration to secure their ongoing residency rights and encourages providers to inform staff. The government is also consulting on future immigration rules.

All professionals whose qualifications that have been recognised and who are registered before 11pm on 29 March 2019 will continue to be registered after this point. The government has not as yet made a decision on future arrangements for care workers with an EU/EEA or Swiss qualification who apply to have their qualification recognised after this date.

9. Check data sharing, processing and access arrangements
Providers should follow advice from the Information Commissioner’s Officer in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario and explore whether the business is dependent on transfers of personal data from the EU. Complying with GDPR will continue to be necessary.

10. Seek advice if you need it
Provider associations can help as can the local authority’s business relations team via the Business Relations Team.


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