UK Health Minister Stephen Hammond insisted that “the government is preparing for all exit scenarios” and revealed that the NHS is stockpiling body bags.
The Tory MP singled out body bags as “essential products” that come to the UK from or through the EU and they are being tockpiled to mitigate against severe disruption to the NHS.
The Mirror reports: A letter from health minister Stephen Hammond to a fellow MP, giving assurances to one of his constituents, confirmed the macabre course of action, in a bid to offer reassurance that the NHS will continue to operate despite the disruption.
The letter lists a number of medical products, consumables and equipment being stockpiled to cope with Britain crashing out without a deal.
They include medicines, vaccines and blood products.
But in the letter, extracts of which were published on Twitter by ITV’s Robert Peston, Mr Hammond singles out body bags as an important consumable being protected by health service bosses.
It reads: “The Department is working with its partners across Government, in the health sector and in industry to prepare for any possible disruption in the supply chain.
“While this does not mean that we are expecting such disruption, the Government is preparing for all exit scenarios.
“These include sensible strategies for devices and consumables, including body bags, that come to the UK from or through the EU, such as precautionary stockpiling by suppliers, to ensure that the supply of essential products is not disrupted.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are taking comprehensive action to ensure the NHS has continued access to products needed to deliver safe, effective care.
“If everyone does what they should do, we are confident the supply of medicines and other medical supplies will be uninterrupted in the event of exiting the EU without a deal.”
37 million packs of medicines are imported to the UK from the EU every month, and the NHS is preparing for a doomsday scenario to prevent supplies running dry.