No-deal Brexit planning helped prepare the UK Government for the coronavirus crisis, a major report has found.
A study by the Institute for Government found preparations for leaving the EU without a deal had improved stockpiles of medicines and other vital products.
The emergency contingency planning had also ensured supply chains could be repurposed for coronavirus and also ensured there was a ready available team of officials on-hand trained in crisis management.
The report said: “No-deal Brexit preparations improved stockpiles and local co-ordination NHS plans were strengthened by recent work by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to prepare for a potential no-deal Brexit, which had forced the department to consider factors that were also relevant for coronavirus.
“Many officials who worked on preparations for no deal were moved to coronavirus teams, while Professor Keith Willet – NHS England’s director of acute care, the strategic incident director in charge of the coronavirus strategic response – was previously the body’s EU exit strategic commander for no-deal Brexit planning.
No-deal planning helped the government prepare for possible medicine shortages, as work done by DHSC on securing supply chains could be repurposed for coronavirus.
“No-deal stockpiles helped meet the impact of high demand for particular drugs, such as anaesthetic medicines used in intensive care.”
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