As the UK moves into negotiations with the EU, a new alliance has been formed to safeguard the interests of patients and the healthcare and research they rely on.

The Brexit Health Alliance brings together the NHS, medical research, industry, patients and public health organisations. It will be cochaired by Sir Hugh Taylor, the former permanent secretary of the Department of Health, and Niall Dickson, the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation.

The Alliance will seek to make sure that issues such as healthcare research, access to technologies and treatment of patients are given the prominence and attention they deserve in the Brexit negotiations.

The Alliance will argue that it is in both Europe and the UK’s interests to maintain co-operation in research and in handling public health issues.

It will also call on the UK government to make sure there is a commitment to medical research and providing alternative funding, and that UK citizens’ right to receive healthcare in EU countries is preserved.

The Alliance’s co-chair, Sir Hugh Taylor, said: “We wish to support the government to achieve the best result for patients and for healthcare across the UK. We hope that the combined expertise and insight of the alliance will prove useful in helping to secure this.”

“Our aim will be to ensure a strong focus on health as Brexit approaches, and that we offer views from across the health sector to negotiators to ensure that patient care and the population’s health and wellbeing will be protected as we leave the EU.”

Niall Dickson added: “There is a risk that healthcare will become forgotten alongside the vast number of issues that the negotiators will have to address. It is vital we protect world leading research, that patients have access to medicines when they need them and that co-operation between the UK and Europe continues to protect all our citizens.”

“These vital issues will have a profound impact on the future health and wellbeing of patients both here and in Europe.”