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NHS wales unveils 'Brexit warehouse' as it calls for no-deal scenario calm

Ben Birchall/PA Wire

By Adam Hale, PA Wales correspondent

NHS Wales has urged people not to panic over medicine supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit, as it gave a tour of its facility storing products in case of supply issues.

The so-called "Brexit Warehouse" was bought by the Welsh Government to store around 1,000 extra products including medical gloves, needles and dressings at a cost of about £5 million.

On Wednesday, media were given a tour of the secret 240,000 sq ft facility in south-east Wales, where officials stressed they were prepared for potential supply issues in case the UK left the EU without a deal.

Mark Roscrow, director of procurement at NHS Wales, said the supplies would last "quite a few months" in the event of supply issues caused by a no-deal exit and discouraged the public from panicking and stockpiling themselves.

He told PA: "We've also been working with suppliers and they have also stocked up as well, so they also have additional stock above what they normally would have held.

"When you build that stock into the product we're already holding it gives us a significant period of insulation if there's a problem.

"None of us can anticipate how long that would go on for, so I think we would be a quite a few months in before we would start to see any problems affecting us."

He added: "What we don't want is an artificial problem that's created by public panic and particularly with medicines and normal stuff people get issued with.

"Talk to your GP, talk to your pharmacist, don't stockpile. Just work on what you normally do and don't create and artificial problem.

"None of us quite know whether we'll have no-deal or a further extension. What we know is if things happen and there's a problem, we are as prepared as we can be."

Mr Roscrow said the Welsh NHS's actions had been mirrored across the UK, with the other administrations collaborating to test different scenarios in the event of leaving the EU.

He said: "We're all in the same position in terms of planning and readiness."

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