The NHS is preparing for a ‘no deal’ Brexit

CREDIT: This story was originally seen on the BMA website

The NHS is putting together a contingency plan in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit situation, said chief executive Simon Stevens

NHS England’s chief executive, Simon Stevens, has announced that the healthcare organisation is preparing itself for a potential ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario.

Eight months ago, Stevens stated that no contingency planning for this outcome had been undertaken. Now, he has said that the Department of Health and Social Care is drawing up series plans in preparation for the UK’s departure from Europe in March 2019.

According to the BMA, Stevens told the BBC:

“There is now significant planning going on around all the scenarios… which the health department, with other parts of the Government, are undertaking, around securing medicine supply and equipment under different scenarios.

“That will obviously crystallise, when it’s clear later this autumn, what the UK’s position will be [but] there’s extensive work under way now between the DHSC and other parts of the government, the life-sciences industry and pharmaceutical companies.”

Stevens has allayed some concerns by saying that, in terms of the planning priorities, continuing the supply of necessary medical products from the UK is paramount. He also explained that the Home Office will be forming a process which allows EU staff to remain in Britain.

Judging by last week’s BMA annual representative meeting, doctors on the whole strongly disagree with Brexit regardless of any preparedness. Delegates voted in favour of the BMA opposing Brexit, with medical ethics committee chair, John Chisolm, describing it as a “…disastrous act of national self-harm,” and that doctors have a duty to speak out “…about the damage Brexit will do to our patients and to healthcare professionals.”

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