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Leaked letter warns of NHS disruption after Brexit

Published on 21/08/18 at 10:31am

NHS Providers, the membership organisation and trade association for professionals working in the NHS, has warned that the NHS is unprepared for Brexit in a letter leaked to The Times newspaper.

Ministers and health service bosses were accused of having failed to adequately prepare for a no-deal Brexit as the letter warned that a hard Brexit could disrupt supply chains and leave Britain vulnerable to infectious diseases.

“Public health and disease control coordination could suffer,” said the letter written by the organisation’s Chief Executive Chris Hopson, which cautioned that a hard or no deal Brexit could negatively impact “the entire supply chain of pharmaceuticals”. He added that Brexit could also jeopardise the status of EU workers “on which the NHS relies”.

Hopson’s letter sent to NHS England’s Chief Executive Simon Stevens and NHS Improvement chief Ian Dalton warned of the increasing potential for a hard Brexit, as he wrote that “For as long as that risk remains, it is important that detailed operation planning is undertaken across the NHS. Yet trusts tell us that their work in this area is being hampered by the lack of visible and appropriate communication.”

“Our members have begun planning... but they have hit a problem, in that some activities are clearly best done at a national level and, in the view of trusts, are best co-ordinated by NHS England and NHS Improvement. However there has been no formal communication to trusts from either of your organisations on this issue.”

Louis Goss

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