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Ward closures among UK hospital contingency plans for no-deal Brexit

LONDON — A no-deal Brexit will severely impact hospital services and could even prompt ward closures..

LONDON — A no-deal Brexit will severely impact hospital services and could even prompt ward closures and interruptions to childrens services, according to planning documents seen by POLITICO.

Detailed preparations from 35 hospitals in England describe serious disruptions to the provision of health care services for patients in the event of a no-deal exit from the EU. One hospital said that a loss of EU staff could lead to the suspension of services, while another warned it may be unable to process diagnostic tests for Parkinsons disease because of missing medical supplies.

The internal documents, released under Freedom of Information rules in response to a request from pro-Remain organization Best for Britain, include risk assessments and contingency plans formulated by hospitals since the Brexit referendum, as well as correspondence with NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Exiting the European Union.

Opposition Labour MP Paul Williams described the results as a “damning indictment of the government and its project to leave the EU.”

“We shouldnt be in a situation where hospitals across the country are scared about staffing levels and potentially having to cut back services in order to stay afloat,” he said. “These documents show that Brexit presents a real threat to patient care across the country.”

Most trusts continue to report grave concerns around the supply of medicines.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “As a responsible government, we must plan for every eventuality, including no deal, and we have been working closely with partners — including hospital trusts — across the health and social care system and industry to ensure we are as prepared as possible.”

Best for Britain requested 150 hospitals no-deal Brexit planning. Of the 78 replies, 35 responded with information; the remaining 43 refused, with many citing government guidance instructing them not to reveal Brexit planning so as not to escalate panic.

At least four of the hospital trusts that responded placed Brexit as a strategic risk to their ability to deliver their goals, with the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust giving a no-deal Brexit a risk rating of “catastrophic.”

“Its no wonder the government didnt want local hospitals releasing these Brexit planning documents. Theyre terrifying and highlight the scale of damage to our local communities that would be caused by a no-deal Brexit,” said interim CEO of Best for Britain, Naomi Smith.

The campaign group “Our Future, Our Choice” carries out a photocall attempting to highlight the risk a no-deal Brexit poses to the NHS in London on August 22, 2018 | Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Derbyshire Community Health Services said it is looking into the possibility of “suspending noncritical activities to prop-up the priority ones” if there are staffing shortages as a result of Brexit. This would include “wards, community, MIU (minor injuries unit), some childrens and general practice,” the East Midlands-based health service said.

Hospitals and professional lobbies say Brexit could significantly dent staffing in the National Health Service, with the government planning to limit the granting of skilled visas to those earning above £30,000 annually, and future arrangements for EU nationals seeking professional registration in the U.K. yet to be determined.

On top of visa and registration issues, “the biggest risk is likely to be the run on the pound which would make employment in the U.K. far less attractive,” according to the Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

Most trusts continue to report grave concerns around the supply of medicines. One hospital group said a no-deal Brexit may even force hospital pharmacies to resort to holding a “civil contingencies medicines stockpile” for emergencies, while several hospital groups said medicines shortages are already straining services.

Under a no-deal Brexit, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust warned that drug supply disruption could “result in in-patient Read More – Source

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I lost my arms and legs – stop it happening to others

A man who woke from a coma to discover both his arms and legs had been amputated and part of his fac..

A man who woke from a coma to discover both his arms and legs had been amputated and part of his face removed has called for mandatory training on sepsis for NHS staff.

Sepsis, or blood poisoning, is a serious complication of an infection, which can have devastating consequences if not treated quickly.

There were delays in spotting Tom Ray's sepsis.

He says a commitment is needed to avoid more tragedies.

Tom's story

Tom Ray was fit and healthy and living in Rutland in the East Midlands before he contracted sepsis at the age of 38 in 1999.

He had had a successful career in corporate banking and was in the process of setting up a business with his pregnant wife, Nic, when he fell ill.

His sepsis – thought to be caused by a cut to his gum during a trip to the dentist, combined with a chest infection – came on rapidly and led to vomiting and a high temperature.

But it took five hours at the hospital he was admitted to before the condition was diagnosed.

He spent months in a coma, during which time his wife Nic gave birth to their second child, Freddy.

His recovery has been a long and gruelling process, involving years of plastic surgery. (more…)

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Health

I lost my arms and legs – stop it happening to others

A man who woke from a coma to discover both his arms and legs had been amputated and part of his fac..

A man who woke from a coma to discover both his arms and legs had been amputated and part of his face removed has called for mandatory training on sepsis for NHS staff.

Sepsis, or blood poisoning, is a serious complication of an infection, which can have devastating consequences if not treated quickly.

There were delays in spotting Tom Ray's sepsis.

He says a commitment is needed to avoid more tragedies.

Tom's story

Tom Ray was fit and healthy and living in Rutland in the East Midlands before he contracted sepsis at the age of 38 in 1999.

He had had a successful career in corporate banking and was in the process of setting up a business with his pregnant wife, Nic, when he fell ill.

His sepsis – thought to be caused by a cut to his gum during a trip to the dentist, combined with a chest infection – came on rapidly and led to vomiting and a high temperature.

But it took five hours at the hospital he was admitted to before the condition was diagnosed.

He spent months in a coma, during which time his wife Nic gave birth to their second child, Freddy.

His recovery has been a long and gruelling process, involving years of plastic surgery. (more…)

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NHS ‘should not prescribe acne drug’

The parents of young people who have killed themselves and patients unable to have sex are calling f..

The parents of young people who have killed themselves and patients unable to have sex are calling for the NHS to stop prescribing acne drug Roaccutane.

Ed Henthorn said it had caused him erectile dysfunction, psychosis and suicidal thoughts.

And one man who believes his son killed himself after taking the drug said the risks "are just too high".

Manufacturer Roche said "millions of patients worldwide have benefited from taking the drug".

The majority of those who take the drug have a positive experience.

'Pretty overwhelming'

"I used to think about girls… but my feelings, thoughts, just faded away," Ed Henthorn told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme.

He was 19 when he took Roaccutane. He describes his acne as mild but bad enough to want to treat.

After three weeks he started to experience side-effects, including reduced energy and sex drive.

Then he experienced erectile dysfunction.

"That was why I decided to stop taking it," he said. (more…)

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