Statement from Baroness Julia Cumberlege CBE and the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP

Statement from Baroness Julia Cumberlege CBE and the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP

Responding to the publication of a Written Ministerial Statement on the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, Baroness Julia Cumberlege CBE and the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP said:

“We welcome the government’s acceptance of four of the Review’s nine recommendations and a further one in principle.  We are particularly pleased there will now be a Patient Safety Commissioner, and we urge the government to move swiftly to appoint the person and establish the post. We are confident that the Commissioner will be able to reduce the risk of avoidable harm in future, and spare individuals and families from the appalling consequences witnessed by the IMMDS Review. 

“But we are deeply disappointed the government has rejected calls for an independent redress agency or any redress for families whose lives have been devastated by medicines or medical devices. For those families justice has not been done today.”

 

ENDS

Notes for Editors

Jeremy Hunt MP is Chair of the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee.

Baroness Cumberlege was Chair of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review.  

She and Jeremy Hunt MP are Co-Chairs of the First Do No Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group www.firstdonoharmappg.org.uk.

For more information contact the Group’s Secretariat at Luther Pendragon via fdnh@luther.co.uk.

 

House of Commons debate on 8th July

On 8 July there will be a debate on the floor of the house on the following motion tabled by Emma Hardy MP and Alec Shelbrooke MP:

“That this House notes the publication of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, First Do No Harm; notes the Government’s refusal to implement the recommendations of that review in full; further notes the significant discrepancy between the incidence of complication following mesh surgery in the Hospital Episode Statistics and the British Society of Urogynaecology databases, as highlighted in the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ Project Report, Hospital Episode Statistics as a source of information on safety and quality in gynaecology to support revalidation; notes that a Government promise to publish a retrospective audit to investigate the links between patient-level data to explore outcomes has not been fulfilled; notes that the moratorium on mesh implant procedures should not be lifted until that audit has been undertaken and the true scale of suffering established; notes Ministers’ continued refusal to acknowledge recommendations relating to victims of Primodos; and calls on the Government to fully implement the recommendations for victims of mesh, sodium valproate and Primodos without further delay.”

Download - Briefing for Parliamentarians

The Group’s Secretariat at Luther Pendragon have produced a briefing for parliamentarians ahead of Thursday’s debate. Click on the link above to download.

Joint meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for First Do No Harm and the British Medical Journal 21.05.21

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for First Do No Harm and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) held a virtual public meeting on the topic of establishing a register of financial and non-pecuniary interests for doctors, as recommended in the report of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, First Do No Harm. To view a recording of the session below or please click here.

A note of the meeting is available here

Joint meeting on establishing a register of financial and non-pecuniary interests for doctors

On Friday 21st May from 10:00-11:30, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for First Do No Harm and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) will hold a virtual public meeting on the topic of establishing a register of financial and non-pecuniary interests for doctors, as recommended in the report of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, First Do No Harm.

The meeting will be co-Chaired by Baroness Cumberlege (Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for First Do No Harm) and Fiona Godlee (Editor in Chief, BMJ), who will restate the case for the introduction of a register and review where progress has been made. They will be joined on a virtual panel by:

  • Margaret McCartney – general practitioner, freelance writer and broadcaster
  • Kath Sansom – Sling the Mesh
  • Neil Mortensen, President, Royal College of Surgeons
  • Professor Colin Melville, Medical Director and Director, Education and Standards, General Medical Council
  • Officers of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for First Do No Harm

Attendees will have the opportunity to put forward questions during the meeting and are invited to follow the event on social media by using #RegisterofInterests and #FirstDoNoHarm.

Those interested in attending are welcome to express their interest by emailing the Secretariat of the All Party Parliamentary Group for First Do No Harm via fdnh@luther.co.uk.

Patient Safety Commissioner for England – an update

The role and powers of the Patient Safety Commissioner are now in law, contained in the Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021.  The government agreed to include this in the Act following pressure from Baroness Cumberlege, Co-Chair of the First Do No Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group, and a range of other parliamentarians of all parties.

Further legislation is now required to set out all the details of how the Patient Safety Commissioner will operate – staffing arrangements, budgets, office accommodation and the appointment process for the Commissioner herself or himself. This is known as secondary legislation, and it takes the form of regulations or statutory instruments.  This type of legislation is prepared by the government and is subject to approval by both the House of Commons and House of Lords before it can become law. 

The Department of Health & Social Care expects soon (likely in May 2021) to launch a public consultation on the matters that will be contained in the secondary legislation.  After the consultation has concluded, and comments received have been considered, the process to appoint the Commissioner will begin.  We do not yet know when the appointment will be made, but we hope it will be before the end of 2021.

The Department of Health & Social Care is keen to encourage anyone with an interest to respond to the consultation.  We will post details of how to do so as soon as they are available, and we will provide further updates of progress towards appointing the Commissioner here on our website. 

Officers meeting of the APPG for First Do No Harm

Last Thursday (11th March), officers of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for First Do No Harm met to discuss the Group’s activity since launching in December, and to agree on a programme of work going forward.  This will include:

  • Seeking a backbench business debate about the First Do No Harm report in the House of Commons Chamber to maintain parliamentary pressure on the Government to move more swiftly to implement the outstanding recommendations of the report
  • Arranging a public meeting on the topic of establishing a register of financial and pecuniary interests for doctors, as recommended in First Do No Harm. The Group intends to hold this with the British Medical Journal and will invite a range of speakers.
  • Writing to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to seek an update on the use of manuals used by DWP PIP assessors when assessing individuals affected by mesh complications, sodium valproate and Primodos.  This action arises from continuing concerns among patients about difficulty obtaining PIP. 

 The Group will publish further updates as this work progresses. 

Answers from the Minister to questions raised at APPG meeting

At the Group’s meeting on 26 January 2021 with the Minister for Patient Safety, Nadine Dorries MP, attendees asked a large number of questions, not all of which could be answered by the Minister due to time constraints. We therefore submitted the unanswered questions to the Minister’s office at the Department for Health and Social Care for a written response. The Department has now provided answers which we have posted here.   

 

Recruitment for patient reference group

The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) has announced its intention to appoint 15 people to a patient reference group. This group will work with DHSC as it develops and implements the Government’s response to First Do No Harm.

The following information has been copied from the website of Traverse External-link, an independent research and engagement consultancy that has been appointed by DHSC to recruit this patient reference group:

If you require any further information about this patient reference group, please email IMMDSRPatientGroup@traverse.ltd.

What will the group be doing?

  • Meeting online to share experiences, ideas and recommendations
  • Helping to shape the Government’s response to the IMMDS Review, ensuring that patient voices are heard in the process
  • Providing advice, challenge, and scrutiny as the Government implements its response

We are looking for people who:

  • Have a personal experience of or understand the context of the IMMDS Review
  • Are committed to improving the experience of patients
  • Want to engage with others on the group and DHSC representatives to support the development and implementation of the Government’s response to the IMMDS Review
  • Can consider complex and emotive issues in a balanced and sensitive way
  • Have good communication skills, and want to build strong working relationships with the rest of the group

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact us at IMMDSRPatientGroup@traverse.ltd for a recruitment pack and more information on how to apply.

We’re also looking for a co-chair to support group members contribute to the group and make sure group members are heard. If you know the English healthcare system well and are comfortable working on sensitive issues, take a look at the recruitment pack to find out more about the co-chair role and how to apply.

 

Meeting with the Minister for Patient Safety

On 26th January at 10:30am, the Minister for Patient Safety, Nadine Dorries MP will attend a virtual meeting of the APPG for First Do No Harm to provide an update on the Government’s thinking regarding the Review’s recommendations, further to the written statement released by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) earlier this week.

The Minister will make an introductory statement before participating in a Q&A with Baroness Cumberlege, the Group’s officers and other parliamentarians. Patient campaigners and other interested parties are welcome to attend the meeting and to participate in the Q&A.

To register interest in attending the meeting which will be held on Zoom please contact the Group’s Secretariat at Luther Pendragon via fdnh@luther.co.uk.