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How NDB could damage the NHS

September 9, 2019 8:07 AM

In an open letter to MPs, three Health organisations - The King's Fund, the Health Foundation and Nuffield Trust, - have summarised the areas where the impact of a no deal Brexit could be felt most sharply in health and care.

These are:

One: Staffing. The current problems would be exacerbated by emigration, financial uncertainty, and the 'hostile environment' towards foreigners.

Two: Shortages of materials. There would be indirect costs in additional bureaucracy as well as direct price increase. Nuffield Trust estimates these would total around £2.3 billion per year. This money would have to come out of other services and supplies, unless the budget increases. In the short term, higher costs would risk shortages of generic medicines.

Three: Old Brits returning. UK citizens currently living in the EU 27 would lose their automatic right of residence. Depending how their host countries react, they might choose or be compelled to come home. Many of these are retirees, so more pressure on the NHS.

Four: Cash. The NHS and care systems are still short of money. The financial uncertainty of NDB would make it difficult for government to increase funding to the required level. Many NHS organisations could be struggling.

The full letter.