With the result of the EU Referendum now known, it is time to start considering the implications of Brexit for healthcare accounting.
The Leave vote in itself is not binding – Article 50 must be triggered to start the two-year countdown clock on negotiations with the EU towards the formal exit of the UK – but in the meantime, political and economic changes are already taking place.
One of the major issues has been the Leave campaign’s apparent promise of £350 million in extra funding per week for the NHS, which is unlikely to be delivered during the immediate economic situation, if at all over the long term.
However, that does not mean there will not be an effect in terms of employment in the NHS and on healthcare accounting in general.
The Reform Research Trust, which campaigns for better spending in the public services, says the result should accelerate changes already underway as part of the healthcare industry’s five-year plan.
Director Andrew Haldenby wrote on the Reform blog: “The ideas in the Forward View have to happen much more quickly, such as the development of primary care, out-of-hospital care and social care to take the pressure off acute hospitals.”
He continued that NHS England and the government must respond quickly to structural questions, allowing regions to make big decisions that influence numerous NHS organisations.
“That means commissioners covering bigger populations and including social care. It means bigger providers. It also means a political debate that stops talking about the NHS in terms of ‘hospitals’ or ‘more clinical staff’,” he added.
Of course, the full impact of Brexit will not be known for several years; however, it seems there is the potential for reform of the healthcare industry to accelerate in the current political climate, which is likely to bring faster changes to healthcare accounting as a result.