The latest details from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) highlights the steps that they are taking should the current Brexit negotiations result in a no deal scenario.
Following an analysis of the medical supply chain for medical devices and clinical consumables, the department has developed a range of contingency measures to mitigate the risk of disruption should a no deal be the final outcome. In a letter to pharmaceutical companies, Matt Hancock, the Health and Social Care Secretary has asked suppliers to increase their medicine stocks by at least 6 weeks on top of their usual buffer supply, whilst ensuring that plans are in place to air freight products with a short shelf life which therefore cannot be stock piled.
This advice has obvious knock on effects for those dealing with vaccine storage on a day to day basis. Firstly, with issues around regular daily supply being highlighted, outlets need to ensure that they have suitable vaccine storage equipment to help deal with irregular stock, both from an angle of having too little, or indeed receiving too much should duplicate orders all come in on one day. Secondly, outlets need to ensure that they have reliable, recently serviced equipment that will provide the best storage solutions for vaccines. By doing so it is less likely to create wastage on already high demand supplies.
Finally, operators need to ensure that their equipment can monitor both air temperature and vaccine temperature to ensure that should medical refrigerators become overloaded, they are not putting at risk the valuable contents.