Brexit warnings released by NHS hospital serving Dominic Raab’s constituents

Document outlines how 'costs may go up' and highlights possibility of staff shortages

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Thursday 02 August 2018 16:01
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A hospital serving Dominic Raab’s constituents has released an internal document identifying potential Brexit risks, warning that an expectation for a flow of funds into the health service after leaving the EU “may be false”.

The paper from Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – situated in the Brexit secretary’s local area – outlines how NHS officials have highlighted the possibility of staff shortages and how “costs may go up”.

Specialist equipment or parts sourced from the EU could potentially be “less accessible”, IT servers based in the EU may be affected and there could be delays to accessing medicines, the hospital added in details released to the Daily Mirror.

The report, prepared for the hospital’s executive management committee in March, mentions risks such as “resource pool shrinkage – already an issue – [which] affects EU nationals and those partnered to EU nationals”, and “distraction for staff even if they don’t plan to leave – attending meetings, sorting out visas etc”.

It also noted: “It was thought that the upsides should also be considered as there may be opportunities from Brexit, such as the return of British nationals.”

Dr Andrew Dearden, treasurer of the British Medical Association, told the newspaper: “It is clear from these documents that Brexit could negatively affect every corner of the NHS.

“It’s a tragedy that the public were led to believe figures plastered on the side of a bus when many authoritative sources are now saying that there could instead be less money for trusts, limited access to life saving medicines and a Brexit brain drain of much needed staff.”

A Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust spokeswoman said that the potential risks identified are “only possibilities and not definite”, only relate to its trust and that “various contingency options” are being worked up.

The spokeswoman added: “We can say that to date there has been a definite impact on our workforce where we have already experienced issues with regards to recruitment from the EU and retention with our existing EU staff members.

“However, we have implemented specific plans to support these very important members of our team and help them to continue to deliver the vital care they give our patients. We are pleased to say that these measures have already resulted in a recent stabilisation in numbers of EU staff.”

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