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donderdag 12 april 2018

NHS European Office year in review

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April newsletter
2017/18 year in review
Welcome to the NHS European Office year in review. We hope you find this update on our work over the past 12 months useful.

Brexit and its impact on the NHS was our main priority in 2017/18, as we continued to work with various stakeholders to ensure that the interests of patients and healthcare are prioritised during the Brexit negotiations. We also continued to monitor EU policy more generally, helped NHS bodies access EU funding, and supported collaboration and sharing of best practice among healthcare organisations across Europe.

Assessing the impact of Brexit on the NHS
In June 2017, we founded the Brexit Health Alliance (BHA), which brings together the NHS, medical research, industry, patients and public health organisations under one banner to ensure health is at the forefront of negotiations. We ran several campaigns during 2017 to highlight the impact of Brexit on reciprocal healthcare rights, patients' access to medicines, and medical research collaboration in the UK and the wider EU.

The Cavendish Coalition which is made up of organisations across health and social care, including the NHS Confederation, was formed to act as a shared voice to influence and highlight the implications Brexit may have on the health and social care workforce. Throughout 2017, the NHS European Office has played a large part in contributing to the policies and activities of the Coalition.

Monitoring and influencing EU policy and legislation in the interest of the NHS
In May 2018, the UK will implement the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into national law. Throughout 2017, we have worked with national working groups to prepare guidance for the NHS explaining the new legislative requirements. We also engaged with the working group at European level which is designing a code of conduct to advise organisations how health data for research purposes should be handled.

Despite leaving the EU in March 2019, the UK has chosen to implement new EU regulations governing the use of medical devices into domestic law. To prepare NHS organisations for these changes, the NHS European Office has worked with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine to develop guidance which will help healthcare organisations make sense of the new rules.

The European Commission has proposed introducing new assessments, which it expects member states' regulators to conduct, before introducing measures that may restrict access to or pursuit of regulated professions, such as doctors and midwives. These measures have the potential to hinder member states from applying more stringent standards to protect patients and public safety. Throughout 2017, our office has lobbied to have healthcare professions excluded from the scope of the proposed directive.

Facilitating access to EU funds for NHS bodies and their partner organisations
Since the UK voted to leave the EU, our office has prioritised providing information to NHS organisations on access to EU funding and how this will be impacted by Brexit. We also continue to act as the UK's national contact point for EU Health Programme funding, facilitating access to EU funds for European Reference Network coordinators who are UK-based.

Supporting pan-European collaborations and sharing of good practice
We have worked with a wide range of pan-European organisations representing patients, health sector industries and healthcare providers, to emphasise the benefits of maintaining close collaboration in healthcare provision, regulation, research and public health post-Brexit. We have also continued our work with social partner organisations to ensure NHS interests continue to be represented at EU level and are reflected in European Commission legislative proposals.

Last year, the European Commission proposed a package of measures aimed at helping parents and carers to better reconcile their work and caring responsibilities. The European Office is working to ensure that NHS concerns are taken into account by the EU Commission as it prepares its draft legislation on work-life balance and has joined forces with social partner organisations to make sure the NHS voice is heard.

If you're interested in finding out more about our work over the past 12 months, download our end of year report in full.
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For more information on any of the items in this issue, please contact European.Office@nhsconfed.org

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