With Brexit around the corner and a deal yet to be agreed, it comes as no surprise NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens has got underway extensive planning to prepare the health service for a no deal scenario.
The UK is set to leave the EU in March 2019, with negotiations due to take place this week regarding what the future relationship with the EU will look like. Theresa May’s cabinet will gather on Friday to try to agree to a “clear direction” that the UK will look to follow in trade talks.
With no deal therefore agreed, Mr Stevens told MP’s that he has not been asked by the government to examine the potential impact of the UK leaving the EU with no deal in place. When asked about this potential scenario Stevens replied “There is immediate planning which the health department, with other parts of government, are undertaking around securing medicine supply and equipment under different scenarios”.
“That will obviously crystallise when its clear later this autumn what the UK’s position will be” he added.
In regards to NHS staff and Brexit, hospitals have been asked to “reach out” to EU nationals working, with information about how to apply to stay in the UK.
In recent weeks there has been warnings about the UK leaving Euratom, the organisation that regulates Europe’s nuclear industry, which includes supply of medical isotopes, essential for various types of cancer treatment. Due to their important Prime Minister Theresa May has called for the UK to have a “close association” with Euratom after Brexit, with her government also seeking an “associate membership” of the European Medicines Agency, which evaluates medicines and aids national authorities authorise the sale of drugs across the EU Single Market.
Day Webster will continue to keep you up to date on the situation regarding UK nursing and how Brexit may effect the nursing jobs market.