A “Brexit Health Alliance” (BHA) has been formed to bring together a diverse range of UK stakeholders in the healthcare industry and provide a single voice for the sector on Brexit-related issues. Members of the BHA include NHS organisations, industry associations, universities, research organisations and charities, the Royal Colleges, such as NHS Confederation, NHS Providers, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) and the BioIndustry Association (BIA). The BHA will be co-chaired by Sir Hugh Taylor (the former permanent secretary at the UK’s Department of Health) and Niall Dickson (chief executive of the NHS Confederation).
The aim of the BHA is to achieve the best outcome for UK patients and healthcare in Brexit negotiations to assist the Government by ensuring that issues such as patient access to medicines and technologies, healthcare research funding and UK citizen’s rights to receive healthcare in EU countries are prioritised in the negotiations. The BHA believes that it is in both the EU’s and UK’s interests to maintain co-operation in the areas of public health and healthcare research.
The BHA has been formed in response to concerns about the implications of Brexit for the NHS, especially in relation to access to new technologies and the possible loss of thousands of EU nationals working in health and social care across the UK, as well as calls from industry groups such as the ABPI for the Government to ensure continued access to talent in the UK and for close regulatory alignment with the EU to facilitate frictionless trade between the regions.