Ahead of the end of the transition era, arrangements to secure Scottish medical supplies from the “disruption” of Brexit have been put in motion.
In the face of threats from the coronavirus pandemic, winter weather and Brexit, the Scottish government said ‘intensified plans’ would secure patients and supplies.
A national stockpile of approximately 60 drugs for critical care (ICU) and supportive care (end-of-life) is being installed, and additional freight capacity has been contracted to ensure that critical supplies can enter the UK. mainland without interruption.
National Services Scotland, which has set up a stockpile at the National Distribution Center, maintains stocks of medical equipment and clinical consumables.
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Medicines have also been stockpiled by pharmaceutical firms to cushion any disruption at ports.
If required, the clinically-led Scottish Medication Shortages Response Group will also establish NHS remediation recommendations.
Police Scotland will also launch a staggered activation of the National Coordination Centre and a single, Scotland-wide Multi Agency Coordination Centre, in addition to using the Scottish Government Resilience Room (SGORR) arrangements (MACC).
“It is inconceivable that, three weeks before the end of the Brexit transition period and in the midst of a pandemic, we still do not know what trade relationship we will have with the European Union,” said SNP Constitution Minister Michael Russell.
The utterly reckless reluctance of the UK government to extend the transition period suggests that our departure from the EU will not be more complicated.
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He said, “The challenges of dealing with the end of transition, the impact of Covid-19 and our normal winter preparation work means that our public services are being stretched in a way that has never been seen before,”
This is why our Brexit response mechanisms are being placed in place by the Scottish Government, based on our current and well-established resilience arrangements.
“For all of this, Scotland did not vote. The imposition of Brexit damage by the UK government during the emergency of a global pandemic is unbelievable.
“We must now do our best to help our fellow citizens through this, but we must also redouble our efforts to give the people of Scotland the choice to leave this mess behind.”