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The UK government has reached an agreement with the EU as to the relationship beyond the end of the transition period.
You may find the information below helpful:
• The NHS is being urged to prescribe and dispense as normal. Doctors and pharmacists should explain to patients that they should continue to order their prescriptions as normal. Prescriptions covering longer durations than normally prescribed should be avoided.
Medical devices, clinical consumables, non-clinical goods and services
• Measures are in place to help ensure stocks continue to be available even if there are transport delays.
• Don’t stockpile products: Organisations should maintain BAU stock levels.
Staff from the EU
• Staff from the EU make a substantial contribution to health and social care services across the UK. Everything possible is being done to ensure they can to continue work in the NHS.
• The EU Settlement Scheme is open to all EU citizens, and can allow EU nationals to gain ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled status’. The Settlement Scheme will allow EU nationals to continue to live and work in the UK beyond June 2021, meaning they will not need to apply for visas when the new immigration system takes effect. The scheme will also lock in the rights of EU nationals, meaning they will be able to access healthcare, benefits and other government services in the same way they currently do. This is open until 30 June 2021.
• Employment contracts will not need to change for EU citizens legally resident in the UK on 31 December 2020, and they will have no problem carrying on working as they do now.
• Recognition of professional qualifications will apply for at least two years after the end of the transition period. For any professional registration queries, please contact the relevant professional regulator.
• You should continue to handle data as you currently do (which is covered by GDPR).
• The agreement the Government has reached includes a provision to provide for the continued free flow of personal data from the EU and EEA EFTA States to the UK until adequacy decisions are adopted, and for not longer than six months. The UK has, on a transitional basis, deemed the EU and EEA EFTA States to be adequate to allow to for data flows from the UK. Your organisation’s data protection officer should have put in place safeguards to ensure that data continues to flow to and from the UK and the EEA after the end of the transition period. These safeguard against any interruption of the free flow of data from the EU.
Reciprocal healthcare and cost recovery
• A new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) will be available from the new year in recognition of the new agreement with the EU. This will replace the EHIC.
• The agreement the Government has reached with the EU ensures that UK residents will continue to have access to emergency and necessary healthcare cover when they travel to the EU. This will operate like the current EHIC scheme.
• However, people will still be able to use their EHIC after 1 January when travelling to the EU. Current cards will remain valid until their expiry date.