On Friday 22nd October 2021, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for First Do No Harm met to hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM). As well as re-electing parliamentarians to officer positions – including Baroness Cumberlege and the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP as co-Chairs – the Group reviewed progress to date and agreed plans for the coming months.
Review of recent activity
At the meeting, the Group looked back on a successful year for the APPG, which included:
- Further raising the profile of the effects of the campaigns (pelvic mesh, sodium valproate and Primodos) in Parliament – including the scheduling of a Commons debate to coincide with the 1st anniversary of the publication of First Do No Harm, in which over 20 MPs participated.
- Raising the profile in the media, with appearances on and mentions in R4’s Today Programme, Sky News, BBC News The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph and the Independent.
- Holding four external events that welcomed, in total, over 300 attendees – including one in collaboration with the British Medical Journal
The Group also discussed recent conversations with NHS England and the MHRA, in particular with the NHSE Medical Director on sodium valproate and pelvic mesh, as well as with the Scottish Government.
Plans for 2022
The Group discussed its plans for the coming months, which will include:
- Tabling amendments to the Health and Care Bill that seek to provide redress for affected individuals and their families.
- In anticipation of the appointment of the Patient Safety Commissioner in the New Year, bringing together other commissioners (such as Domestic Violence, Victims etc.) to share their experiences and help inform the selection process.
- Meeting the Minister for Patient Safety. We have requested the new Minister for Patient Safety, Maria Caulfield MP, attends a meeting of the APPG to update it on the implementation of First Do No Harm.
- Ensuring the continued engagement of patient groups and affected individuals, following the conclusion of the work of the Patient Reference Group.