The Welsh government has acquired a new warehouse to stockpile medical devices as part of its preparations for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit and suggested it may be able to let additional stock space to local firms that supply NHS Wales.
The warehouse in South East Wales will provide additional storage capacity for medical devices and clinical consumables to ensure there is a continuity of supply for Wales.
It is feared that a number of key products could be impacted by potential changes to trading relations with the EU, if for example there should be a restricted flow of goods into the UK through border ports.
Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services, said that it was “vital” to put contingency plans in place to limit any possible disruption to healthcare supplies.
Additional storage capacity to maintain increased stock in Wales of these critical items is an essential part of the government’s plan, Mr Gething said.
He said: “The facility will enable the stocking of more health items, and the stocking of at risk categories of social care items, meaning our dependency on external supply chains is decreased and our resilience is increased.
“We will also be able to increase our understanding of the supply chain, volumes, pressures and geographic origin of the products we use in our healthcare system. This means that we can more easily achieve efficiencies and cost savings, as well as supporting economic development in Wales.
“There may also be an opportunity to let space to local supply chain partners including start up commercial companies and non-profit social enterprises, developing new devices, products or service offerings.”