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Only 1 in 12 NHS trusts have prepared for a no-deal Brexit

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FILE PHOTO: An NHS logo is displayed outside a hospital in London, Britain May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall
An
NHS logo is displayed outside a hospital in
London

Thomson
Reuters


  • Only 3 out of 38 NHS trusts surveyed by Politico have
    any preparations or impact assessments for no-deal
    Brexit.
  • Health and Social Select Committee Chair Sarah
    Wollaston said a no-deal Brexit could be “completely
    paralyzing” for the NHS.
  • On Tuesday morning a letter from NHS providers CEO
    Chris Hopson leaked, in which he said the NHS would be affected
    by a hard or no deal Brexit from “day one” of leaving.
  • Anti-Brexit campaigners are protesting outside the
    Department for Health with fake stockpiles on
    Wednesday. 

LONDON – Most hospitals in the UK have not made formal plans for
a no-deal Brexit or carried out assessments into the possible
impact of leaving the European Union without a deal.

As the UK government prepares to release an array of technical
notes on how it is preparing the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, a
Freedom Of Information request has revealed how few NHS trusts
have prepared for the increasing possibility of Britain crashing
out of the EU without a deal.

Out of the NHS 38 trusts that responded to Politico’s Freedom Of Information
request
, only 3 said they had documents relating to
preparations and impact assessments on different Brexit
scenarios.

On Tuesday, a letter from NHS providers CEO Chris Hopson
outlining his concerns regarding no deal preparations
leaked to the media
, in which he outlined that the UK would
be affected from “day one” of leaving the EU.

“Public health and disease control coordination could also
suffer, and our efforts to reassure, retain and attract the
European workforce on which the NHS relies could also be
jeopardized,” his letter said.

Sarah Wollaston, chair of the Health and Social Care Select
Committee Sarah Wollaston, said a no deal Brexit could be
“completely paralysing” for the NHS.

“There are some medicines, devices … that we can’t make in this
country,” Wollaston told Politico.


Jeremy Hunt Theresa May
Former Health Secretary
Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May

Christopher Furlong/Getty

“There is not a drop of insulin [which is required daily by many
diabetics] produced in this country … We can’t source plasma in
this country because of the leftover concerns about CJD
[Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, know colloquially as mad cow disease]
for example. It’s all imported. If people don’t get their plasma
products that will have very major knock-on implications for
people having certain kinds of surgery and certain kinds of
treatments.”

In Select Committee testimony earlier this month, Health
Secretary Matt Hancock said that an operational team with
industry knowledge is set to advise the government on how to
achieve the required capacity for key medicines, and that the
government is “working with industry to prepare for the
potential need for stockpiling.”

With Theresa May’s government preparing to publish its first
batch of no-deal technical notices on Thursday, anti-Brexit
campaigners are upping their activity around the threat of a no
deal Brexit.


Anti-Brexit campaigners from Our Future Our Choice, protesting outside the Department for Health.
Anti-Brexit
campaigners from Our Future Our Choice, protesting outside the
Department for Health.

Our Future
Our Choice/Twitter


Our Future Our Choice (OFOC), who are allied with the People’s
Vote campaign for another Brexit referendum, who protested
outside the Department of Health on Wednesday morning with fake
stockpiles and placards.

Speaking in a video over Twitter, an OFOC campaigner jokingly
claimed that they were the “first people in the entire country
to start stockpiling for no deal Brexit.”

On Tuesday, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab described reports
that leaving the EU without a deal could lead to a shortage in
medicines as “hair-raising scare stories” that were “very far
from the truth.”

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