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Minimising possible adverse effects of Brexit

7 February 2019

With the current situation around Brexit remaining consistently unclear The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) has recently signposted external guidance from the Department of Health and The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

To update members on the current situation and latest messages from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) the RCOphth is able to share two further pieces of correspondence –

  • The first, from Professor Keith Willett in his role as EU Exit Strategic Commander, outlines the DHSC plans for a national Operational Response Centre (ORC) which includes NHS England, NHS Improvement and Public Health England. This unit will lead on responding to any disruption to the delivery of health and care services in England, that may be caused or affected by EU exit.
  • The second provides a specific update on the work ensuring the continuity of supply of medicines as part of the Government’s contingency preparations for a ‘no deal’ EU exit. The RCOphth will work with the DHSC to identify suitable alternatives in the possible event of a serious shortage of any ophthalmic medicine.

More widely, the RCOphth recognises that many of our Consultants and SAS Doctors have a primary degree from within Europe. We would like to take this opportunity to thank these members for their ongoing commitment to the NHS and strongly express the hope that legislation will allow them to easily remain working in the UK post Brexit.

The major complication in terms of patient care that the RCOphth can foresee immediately following our exit from the European Union is uncertainty around the eligibility of patients from Europe for treatment. The RCOphth hopes that trusts will be in close communication with doctors and administrative staff to provide clarity during this uncertain time.