A new alliance has been established as the voice of the NHS during Brexit negotiations to safeguard the interests of patients as the UK leaves the EU.
The ’Brexit Health Alliance’ was launched this morning at the NHS Confederation Conference by its CEO, Niall Dickson, and will represent organisations across healthcare, research, industry and public health.
The alliance will push the message that it is in the EU’s interests to co-operate with the UK on issues of medical research and public health.
Mr Dickson, who is also co-chair of the alliance, said it is important that healthcare isn’t forgotten in the Brexit negotiations. He said: ‘It is vital we protect world-leading research, that patients have access to medicines when they need them and that co-operation between the UK and Europe continues to protect our citizens.’
The alliance will call on the Government to commit funding to medical research and to ensure that UK citizens retain the right to receive healthcare in the EU.
Sir Hugh Taylor, former Department of Health secretary and chair of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, who also co-chairs the alliance, said: ‘Our aim will be to ensure a strong focus on health as Brexit approaches, and that we offer views from across the health sector to negotiators to ensure that patient care and the population’s health and wellbeing will be protected as we leave the EU.’
The alliance will complement the work of the Cavendish Coalition, which deals with the workforce implications of Brexit, and Dickson said it will be similarly ‘scrupulously neutral about the merits of Brexit’.
The founding members of the new organisation includes NHS Providers, the Association of Medical Research, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and health and social care charity group National Voices.