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The long-term plan that is due to set out how the NHS’ 70th anniversary “birthday present” of £20 billion a year by 2023-4 will be spent has officially been delayed until the New Year. The Health Service Journal said officials had blamed the distraction of Brexit for the delay. Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock told Newsnight the NHS had become “the world’s biggest buyer of fridges” as it tried to stockpile drugs against a no-deal or hard-Brexit; while think-tanks and unions warned it was already having an adverse impact on the health service. The chief executive of NHS Scotland announced he was stepping down, while vendors were given a tight timescale to comment on a potentially crucial EPR framework.

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