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Updated SPPC Position Paper on the Impacts of Brexit on Palliative and End of Life Care

SPPC has updated its position paper on the potential impacts of Brexit on palliative and end of life care in Scotland. The revised paper includes consideration of the Immigration White Paper and the latest developments in planning for a No Deal Brexit, with implications for medicines supply. A copy of the paper can be downloaded here.

Based on desk research and engagement with our membership the original paper was published in December 2018.

The paper starts by acknowledging the uncertainties currently surrounding Brexit and describes its approach to conducting analysis in spite of this uncertainty. After providing some background on SPPC and palliative care in Scotland the paper describes current “non-Brexit” challenges in palliative care. The impact of Brexit on the key domains of workforce, scientific research, medicine supply and funding are then considered.

The paper contains the findings of a recent SPPC survey designed to capture the views of people who are involved in a professional capacity in providing care for people approaching the end of life in Scotland.

Based on its assessment of available evidence and information the paper concludes that Brexit will have a negative impact on palliative and end of life care. In all likelihood Brexit will significantly damage the care which people receive towards the end of life.

SPPC exists to improve palliative and end of life care in Scotland. It is not a role of SPPC to assess or to comment on the wider merits and demerits of Brexit. However, in terms of what is best for the care of people approaching the end of their lives in Scotland, SPPC concludes that it would be better to avoid Brexit.

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