The government has reiterated its messages around post-Brexit medicine supply.
The updated information, aimed both at the public and health professionals, outlines contingency measures put in place to ensure continuity of supply. It also advises patients against stockpiling.
The advice is relevant to all physiotherapy staff, who may be asked questions by patients about their medicines. In particular, those physiotherapists who are prescribers should be clear on what advice to give to patients, as well as what they need to do themselves.
The government has contingency plans in place to manage any interruption to the supply of prescription-only medicines and pharmacy products. This includes holding large stocks in storage in the UK, ready to be made available to the NHS.
Physio prescribers are advised to continue to prescribe as normal and not to alter their prescribing activities for anything other than identified clinical need. They should not prescribe for a longer duration than they currently do, even if patients ask them to. There is no need for patients to change how they request repeat prescriptions or to ask for prescriptions to cover longer time periods.
Medicines shortages already common
The NHS has always periodically experienced temporary shortages of particular medicines and the plans already in place to manage this will continue to be used. This means that if a prescribing physiotherapist becomes aware that any medicine they use may be in short supply they should report this through their existing local governance channels. If needed, pharmacists will follow serious shortage protocols (SSPs) in advising on which medicines are to be used.
CSP professional adviser Pip White said: ‘We understand the concerns that both patients and our prescribing members may have over the current uncertainty with Brexit. Our members should continue to prescribe as they currently do, following existing practice guidance.
'As further advice is issued we will update members as necessary.’
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