02 July 2019 – NHS Confederation
Responding to Simon Stevens’ comments about NHS preparations for a Brexit ‘no deal’ scenario, Niall Dickson, co-chair of the Brexit Health Alliance, said:
“We are aware that the government has been preparing for a range of eventualities. The only certainty in any of this is a state of uncertainty.
“There is an absolute requirement on all those in office to make sure that whatever happens in the negotiations, patients will receive the medicines and treatment they need. And that is the message we have made from the start of this process.
“Much of what the NHS does is on a ‘just in time’ basis and the service cannot afford to wander into a situation where supplies simply stop or dry up.
“The reality is that medicines, medical supplies and devices are all part of a highly interdependent system – it would be wrong to cause unnecessary anxiety or alarm among patients, but we do need to make plans now to make sure that whatever happens next year patients in the UK and indeed in the rest of Europe can be guaranteed supplies of the medicines and materials they need.
“That should be the highest priority for the UK government and the European Commission – this is too important to be a bargaining chip in the negotiations.”