The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has issued recommended actions for companies within the medicines and medical devices sectors in order to best maintain stocks of essential products.
The guidance has been issued under the COVID-19 contingency planning: National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) programme. Actions are broken down by sector.
- “You should continue to use existing medicines reporting arrangements and alert the DHSC Medicine Supply team of any supply issues at the earliest point possible so the team can undertake a risk assessment and implement a management plan where required to help mitigate any potential impacts affecting patients
- Guidance about how and what information should be reported to the Medicine Supply team and how to report via the routes below can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reporting-requirements-for-medicine-shortages-and-discontinuations“
When to contact NSDR
“NSDR is linked to the DHSC medicine supply team’s existing reporting. Any logistics problem raised with the medicines supply team through BAU routes will be communicated to NSDR; you do not need to separately raise the issue with the NSDR call centre”
For medical devices, clinical consumables and non-clinical goods and services:
“If you experience disruption to your normal supply routes, you should do everything possible to remedy the issue within your normal supply arrangements”
When to contact NSDR
- “If you are unable to resolve a disruption incident, you should contact the NSDR immediately using the details after the table, including your proposed contingency resolution where possible, to allow as much time as possible to assess the urgency and nature of the issue, and help to identify actions with you to mitigate impact on care provision and patients
- “Please also notify the NSDR of any direct communication to care providers or patients that are planned or that have been issued in relation to emerging supply disruption issues. Where possible, the NSDR teams will support you on communications”
Other sections such as vaccines are covered in the full guidance, available here.