Independent charity The Health Foundation has warned that in the short term, the economic impact of quitting the EU could result in the government cutting the NHS budget for 2019/20 by £2.8 billion.

Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, called for the government to honour their funding promises after Brexit.

In a message to all NHS staff, Mr Stevens said that both Leave and Remain had campaigned for “a strong – and indeed a better funded – National Health Service.”

“The public, regardless of how they voted, will rightly want our new political leaders to deliver on that promise,” he said.

NHS Confederation chief executive Stephen Dalton said: ‘The NHS is already facing multiple pressures from rising demand and cuts to social care. The current fiscal and political uncertainties are likely to stall plans for transforming how we plan and organise the delivery of NHS care.

‘We have not yet seen any evidence which suggests the NHS will be better off as a result of leaving the EU and we urgently need political leaders to move on from ill-informed rhetoric about the NHS.

‘If health and social care is to remain sustainable we need to have an honest conversation with the public about how it is funded.’

The uncertainty seems to be taking its toll on the NHS this week, with junior doctors striking over pay and unsafe contracts and rejecting the government’s most recent contract offer.

Trained nurses and midwives are also protesting plans by the government to scrap student bursaries.

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