The EU Referendum: what does it mean for us and the NHS?

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In the 12 days since the EU Referendum, there has been much talk and discussion about what the result means for the NHS and its work. 

As the NHS turned 68 yesterday (5th July), NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens has reflected that: “…there’s never been a single year in our history when alongside brilliant staff from this country, the health service has not also relied on committed employees from around the world.” 

Indeed, both here at EEAST and across our fellow east of England teams, we work with colleagues from inside and outside the EU. We value your ongoing commitment to our service, our patients and our communities immensely. 

In a letter sent yesterday to NHS England staff on Monday (4th July), Mr Stevens reassured colleagues that he would be setting out a list of NHS “asks” from government Brexit negotiations later this month “to ensure the NHS voice and patient interests are properly heard”. 

NHS England has also committed to setting up a specialist team to work with the wider health service, the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office to make sure any future arrangements that might affect that health service and patients run as smoothly as possible. 

But these plans are long term; right now, Mr Stevens says the NHS should continue to press on with its work: “Rather than being distracted by the current Westminster swirl, we’re going to be using the coming months to get on with what NHS England was set up to deliver: a steady hand on the tiller, providing operationally-independent leadership for the NHS on behalf of patients and the public.” 

This is reflected here at EEAST as well, where we will continue to work together on our plans to make the improvements we want to see – for our colleagues and our patients.

Understandably the EU Referendum result has created an atmosphere of uncertainty, and unfortunately, as you may have seen in the media, some people’s impulses and reactions haven’t been appropriate; at this challenging time it is important that we all remain vigilant for inappropriate comments or actions from colleagues or patients that we attend in the community, and work to ensure that EEAST is an inclusive and diverse organisation. 

If you witness intolerance or attitudes that make you feel uncomfortable or are abusive, please report it via your line manager, to your HR team, or on Datix. We are and will remain an organisation of respect, where equality and diversity is valued and welcomed. 

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Navrtia Atwal, is also available to provide support to colleagues where needed. You can contact Navrita at, or on 01234 243014.

Published 6th July, 2016

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