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NHS Confederation: Health service can't afford 'Brexit' vote

The NHS cannot afford the 'period of economic instability' which a vote to leave the EU would likely cause, the NHS Confederation has warned.

As its annual conference launched today, chair Stephen Dorrell used his opening speech to warn of the potential impact on healthcare funding in case the British public does vote to leave the union in next week's referendum.

Mr Dorrell, a former Conservative MP, health minister, and chair of the House of Commons Health Committee, said that in order to get NHS finances back on track - from a position where 65% of hospital trusts are currently in deficit - the system needed to be reformed.

Mr Dorrell said evidence suggests a 'Brexit' vote would cause 'a period of economic instability', which the NHS can ill afford.

He said: ‘We need to invest in building a sustainable society where we help people stay well, focusing on health and care in a place, rather than single institutions working in silos. Securing the necessary funding will be important for achieving our vision.

'We need a strong economy to guarantee the growth in funding that the health and care service requires and evidence suggests leaving the EU would undermine this.'

The NHS Confederation, which represents 85% of NHS providers and commissioners, is meeting for a three-day conference in Manchester which will also see speeches from current health secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England's chief executive Simon Stevens.

Readers' comments (5)

  • Agree with some points, but can it cope with 300,000 extra people per year?? Seems were doomed either way.

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  • This is simply a pro-EU politician making up another biased Project Fear fictional story

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  • Vinci Ho

    One week from the final showdown , the sadness resides where people are more or less fed up with all these claims, from both camps , which are easily self-evaporated as they are not based on credible facts. And the hypocrisy is many of the issues triggering an argument of staying or leaving EU , in fact, still depends on how the post-referendum government will behave . Take the argument on so many millions can be spared on leaving EU and spent in NHS . If that is the truth , it will still remain as a change in behaviour of this following government.
    The truth is the prime minister had seriously miscalculated the timing and his chance of winning this referendum . Under normal circumstances , one would expect the Remain to win a big margin . Common sense will deter most people to vote for Remain so as to avoid the immediate and inevitable economic agony of devaluation of the sterling in short term,although the long term effect is subjected to a natural cycle in the market . Reality is the more Remain camp tried to raise this alarm , the more the poll results showed a neck to neck contest between the two sides.
    Then trust and credibility come into play. If one tried to run a government by overpowering and even bullying , people would pay you back whenever 'a window of democracy' appeared. That is exactly the reason why mid-term elections are often a good opportunity for the opposition and second term presidency is likely to be won with much smaller margin.
    The only 'useful' aspect of this referendum is , in fact , a barometer like reflection of the discontent and anger towards this government . If a big margin win of Remain is considered as a normal result , anything of a small majority win(ironically that was how the Tory registered its 'famous' victory in last year general election) will be still disastrous. Any future policy or reform pushed forth by the government will be up against unbelievable opposition inside and outside the Tory party . Remember I called that 'lame duck' while one of the rebel Tories gave it a name with same insinuation , 'zombie government '.
    Another serious mistake committed by the Remain camp was the strategy of personal targeting on the leader of Leave . While it is an open secret he has a strong desire to become the next PM , the naivety was preposterous as well as lugubrious when the three women(including the Scottish first minister)in Remain camp geared up on a TV debate against Mr Mojobojo forgetting the debate was about EU , NOT 'who is the next prime minister?' . This inevitably granted credit to the latter who did not really deserve .
    Is it really the end of the world in Brexit ? Nobody knows . Vote with your heart or your head? The difference is amazingly small . But one thing is probably true , those dishonourable ones showing no respect on others will get what they deserve ultimately.
    As I said , I will flip the coin in the air next Thursday like Harvey Dent(Two Face)did to determine the fate of his victim.......

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  • Vinci Ho

    And typical of Ozzy:
    Emergency budget in the case of Brexit , more cuts in public spending and hence NHS , as well as raising tax.

    So , there is no choice other than Remain ?
    A bit of same taste as Agent Hunt's imposition of junior doctor's contract ?
    So predictable from snakes of the same union, isn't it?

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  • Concentrate on the basics, end the unnecessary, unaffordable extras such as 7 day routine access (are you listening, Jeremy? - access isn't the problem but it will become so if there is too much of it) and encourage more self-care with a higher, not easy access lower, threshold for seeking medical attention in order to protect the NHS.

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