Warnings over the consequences of Brexit for the NHS have emerged from a hospital serving the Brexit secretary’s own constituents.
Documents from Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust outline how NHS officials have highlighted the possibility of staff shortages and distractions, that costs “may go up” and that the quality and pricing of food could be affected.
Specialist equipment or parts sourced from the EU could potentially be “less accessible”, IT servers based in the EU may be affected and there could be delays to accessing medicines, the report added.
Other “Brexit risks” identified by the hospital’s executive management committee (EMC) included reduced availability of specialist expertise such as therapists and nurses, alongside a shortage of lower-skilled workers.
The document added: “Resource pool shrinkage – already an issue – affects EU nationals and those partnered to EU nationals.”
It also noted: “Distraction for staff even if they don’t plan to leave – attending meetings, sorting out visas etc.”
The document, obtained by the Daily Mirror from the hospital trust under Freedom of Information laws, was written in March this year and outlined “Brexit risks” identified by the EMC in December 2017.
It also said: “It was thought that the upsides should also be considered as there may be opportunities from Brexit, such as the return of British nationals.”
The newspaper also secured the release of a further document from last month which also continued identifying “potential risks” in order to manage them where necessary.
Mr Raab represents nearby Esher and Walton in Surrey.
A Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust spokeswoman told the newspaper that the potential risks identified are “only possibilities and not definite”, only relate to its trust and that “various contingency options” are being worked up.
The spokeswoman added: “We can say that to date there has been a definite impact on our workforce where we have already experienced issues with regards to recruitment from the EU and retention with our existing EU staff members.
“However, we have implemented specific plans to support these very important members of our team and help them to continue to deliver the vital care they give our patients. We are pleased to say that these measures have already resulted in a recent stabilisation in numbers of EU staff.”
The government is preparing for different Brexit outcomes, with efforts to stockpile medicines confirmed.
The details were made public as Theresa May prepares to cut short her holiday in the Italian Lakes to hold a face-to-face meeting with Emmanuel Macron, one of Europe’s key powerbrokers.
She will travel to the south of France to meet the French president at his Fort de Bregancon country retreat on the Mediterranean coast tomorrow.
Mr Raab will hold his own talks with counterparts in Paris today ahead of the meeting of the UK and French leaders.