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NHS Confederation chief says news of Brexit extension is a relief

Published on 12/04/19 at 02:46pm

Niall Dickson, the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, has said news of the decision to extend the Brexit deadline to the 31st October had come as a ‘relief’.

However, Dickson, who co-chairs the Brexit Health Alliance, called for an end to the ‘circus of uncertainty’ surrounding the UK’s exit from the European Union.

In warning of the detrimental effects of a no-deal on patients in the NHS, Dickson said: “No deal tomorrow would have been bad for patients so it is a relief that threat has gone away, for now. But of course the extension leaves that as one potential outcome which means everyone involved in healthcare must continue to prepare for this possibility and keep contingency plans in place.”

Dickson added: “We are now in a “phoney war” and the risk is complacency – the system needs to assume we could crash out and do everything we can to make sure patients are protected if that happens.

“Like everyone else in the UK and Europe we want an end to this circus of uncertainty and we need to see the political will to bring that about.”

Louis Goss

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