HSJ brings you an end-of-week roundup of Brexit health news.

With one hand Theresa May gaveth, and with the other she taketh away. That seems to be the Brexit Health Alliance’s verdict of the announcement of the 31 October Brexit extension, anyway.

“No deal tomorrow would have been bad for patients so it is a relief that threat has gone away, for now,” said alliance co-chair and NHS Confederation chief executive Niall Dickson. “But of course the extension leaves that as one potential outcome which means everyone involved in healthcare must continue to prepare for this possibility and keep contingency plans in place…

“Like everyone else in the UK and Europe we want an end to this circus of uncertainty and we need to see the political will to bring that about.”

Meanwhile, preparations for a no-deal Brexit – into which so much preparation has gone in government and in the NHS, locally and nationally – can at least, presumably, be put on ice for a few months, underlining again the absurdity of it all.

Coverage elsewhere

NHS patients may no longer have their Weetabix. The Daily Mail reports NHS Supply Chain has told hospitals it will not replenish its stocks of the breakfast cereal, along with Weetabix Bran Flakes and Alpen cereal bars, due to price rises linked to Brexit. 

Harvard University senior fellow and former head of the Downing Street Policy Unit Camilla Cavendish opined about her Brexit boredom in the FT. In particular, she mourned the potential policies postponed by politicians’ preoccupation with leaving the EU – including the long-promised green paper on social care. 

The chief executive of University Hospitals of Derby and Burton Trust has said Brexit, particularly the no-deal variety, would not be smooth sailing for the provider. However, he also noted that, “counter-intuitive” to what might be expected, its EU staff numbers have increased.