The healthcare group that plans and funds NHS services in Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire will use its “usual policy” to manage potential drug shortages in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

The Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has had a team in place to deal with Brexit since March.

At the group’s governing body meeting on Tuesday, Wokingham Lib Dem councillor Adrian Mather said there is concern about the availability of drugs in the event of a no deal Brexit and asked what preparations the CCG has made for such an event.

Berkshire West CCG’s finance officer Rebecca Clegg responded: “There is a huge amount of work happening nationally.

“There is a lot of stuff available on the NHS England website.

“As a CCG we have been asked to have a team put in place. That happened in March.

“Shortages of drugs is something we deal with on a daily basis. We are using our usual policy, our existing ways of working.”

CCGs around the country have been preparing to operate under the conditions of a no deal since guidance was released by the government in December 2018.

Government advice is that UK health providers do not stockpile medicine beyond their business as usual stock levels.

Instead, pharmaceutical companies have been asked to stockpile six weeks of additional supply.

In July’s memo to NHS commissioners and providers, Exit Strategic Commander Professor Keith Willett said full contingency plans need to be in place to ensure safe services for patients can continue to be provided in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Berkshire West CCG met for its Annual General Meeting as well its quarterly governing body meeting on Tuesday (September 10).

Cathy Winfield, the group’s chief officer announced the CCG had received a ‘Requires Improvement’ rating by the NHS for 2018/19.

She also announced that the group could be merging with the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire CCGs.

A consultation on a potential merger is expected to go live before Christmas.