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23.05.16

Economic ‘tailspin’ from Brexit could damage NHS, says Stevens

The economic consequences of Britain leaving the European Union could further damage the NHS, Simon Stevens has warned.

In an interview on The Andrew Marr Show yesterday, the boss of NHS England said that a recession as a result of Britain voting to leave the EU on 23 June, which has been predicted by Bank of England governor Mark Carney, would have a particularly severe impact on the already troubled NHS finances.

Stevens said: “If Mark Carney is right then that is a severe concern for the National Health Service. Because it would be very dangerous if at precisely the moment the NHS is going to need extra funding actually the economy goes into a tailspin and that funding is not there.”

A report from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), published today, warned that the NHS deficit could reach £16bn by 2020.

The latest NHS performance figures show its deficit is at £2.45bn, almost three times greater than last year’s and £461m worse than planned, and timely treatment rates for emergency patients are at their lowest ever.

Another recent CIPFA report warned that the general public do not realise the “tremendous upheaval”, leaving the EU is likely to cause public services, as reported in NHE’s sister title Public Sector Executive.

(Image c. Owen Humphreys from PA Wire)

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