Andrew Lansley, now Lord Lansley, the former Secretary of State for Health, has urged health and care professionals to demand their voice is heard during Britain’s negotiations to exit the EU.
Speaking at a hastily convened seminar during Health+Care on Tuesday, he said that there is no point dwelling on the fact that the vote went the wrong way, in his opinion, but to make sure the health and care sector secures as good a deal as possible.
The Vote Leave campaign battle bus talked about the £350 million that is sent to the EU every week, and linked it to a suggestion that the money could be spent on the NHS.
Lord Lansley (pictured above) rubbished that claim, but pointed out that the healthcare system was promised more money by both sides in the referendum, so should be front of the queue if there is any additional money for public services once the dust settles.
“The next three months must be used to push for health and social care to be part of the Article 50 negotiations,” he told a theatre packed with health and care professionals.
He warned that if an Australian style points system is established for migrant workers, it is likely to create problems for the care sector. “It is unlikely to be favourable to relatively low-skilled workers in the care sector,” he suggested.
Sarah Pickup, deputy chief executive of the Local Government Association, said that the health and care profession had largely carried on as always, despite the referendum result, but also said it was gearing up to lobby hard for the sector to be heard during Brexit talks.
“It is early days for making grand statements about what we need, but local government should have a seat at the table,” she said.