The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has written an open letter to the next leader of the Conservative Party calling on them to safeguard the NHS and avoid a 'no deal' Brexit in the best interests of patient care.
The correspondence has been sent to Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Rory Stewart. In it the college urges candidates to prevent a no-deal Brexit at all costs, specifically highlighting the potential for a significant impact on patient care posed by difficulties in the supply of medicines, medical devices and radioisotopes, and the recruitment and retention of vital EU national staff.
The College officially opposes the UK's exit from the European Union following a decision by its governing Council in November 2018.
Commenting on why she wrote the letter, RCGP chair Professor Stokes-Lampard said: "We need to know that regardless of who wins this contest, our health service will remain safe and free at the point of need for our patients - one of the foundations that this great source of national pride was built on.
"Brexit has dominated the political landscape for several years, to the detriment of health, education and many other essential pillars of our society.
“It is not our place to say who will make the best Prime Minister, but whoever it is must make the NHS a priority; they must protect it,” she said.