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NHS Confederation - Brexit Health Alliance: Niall Dickson: Science paper is 'step in the right direction'

Niall Dickson, co-chair of the Brexit Health Alliance and chief executive of the NHS Confederation, responded to the science paper published by the Department for Exiting the European Union

“This is a step in the right direction. The government has recognised that we must continue to collaborate with the EU on science and innovation and that medical research is a critical part of this. That also means supporting and being part of the European research networks which benefit patients in the UK and in the EU. We fully support the goal of a far-reaching science and innovation agreement with the rest of Europe.

“The government’s job is to make sure patients are not harmed by Brexit – they must have early access to new technologies and cutting edge treatments and that includes being able to take part in international clinical trials. “In all this it is vital that life sciences and other areas of health and care research are seen for what they are - major assets for the UK economy – not a cost to the taxpayer.

“As Brexit negotiations continue we urge the Government to remember that life sciences, the development of cutting-edge medical innovations, generate around £66 billion each year. “If we are to fulfil the huge potential of our life sciences sector, the NHS must be supported, encouraged and resourced to play its part.”

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