We need a united government to support and implement industrial strategy and to act swiftly to reassure industry of its commitment to supporting life sciences through an economic strategy for growth.
As a priority to guide the sector the new government should reinstate the post of life sciences minister. The life sciences sector has been hampered on delivering important projects because of a year of uncertainty, post-EU referendum, which has seen a series of policy implementations pushed back with a resultant stifling effect on the economy.
An impending Brexit, the election of a new prime minister, and a General Election has led to inaction on key policies such as the Caldicott review, impacting our Health North: Connected Health Cities programme, delaying of Industrial Strategy implementation and delayed Science Innovation Audit announcements, which has held back our understanding of the North’s economic potential in life sciences.
Brexit in particular has led to a great deal of uncertainty. Access to European grant funding and the flow of talented students, academics and skilled workers from the EU into UK universities, laboratories and companies are a major concern. The departure of the European Medicine Authority from the UK post-Brexit will not only lead to job losses but may result in delays in new medicines reaching UK patients.
Political delays are starting to have economic impacts. The UK is at the bottom of the G7 countries in terms of economic growth rate and now we need to deliver on Industrial Strategy.
Swift, decisive action in moving forward Life Sciences policy is needed to make sure life sciences grows as a fundamental asset of the UK’s economy.
For more information, contact Hannah.Davies@theNHSA.co.uk, 07342882383.
The NHSA ltd is a partnership established by the leading Universities and NHS Hospital Trusts in the North of England to improve the health and wealth of the region by creating an internationally recognised life science and healthcare system. It links eight universities and eight research-intensive NHS Teaching Trusts with four Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs covering a population of over 15 million.
For more information on the NHSA visit www.theNHSA.co.uk
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