APPG holds meeting with the Patient Safety Commissioner for England

This month the APPG for First Do No Harm held a conversation with Dr Henrietta Hughes, Patient Safety Commissioner for England. The session explored Henrietta’s experiences and reflections from her first four months in post ahead of the launch of her 100 Days Report, in which she sets out what she has heard and done in her role so far and her priorities for the year ahead.

The Group would like to thank those who attended and relevant Parliamentarians and campaigners for their continued support.

To view the documents related to the annual general meeting see below:

APPG for First Do No Harm holds Annual General Meeting

Last month, the APPG held their annual general meeting in Parliament. Baroness Cumberlege was re-elected as Co-Chair of the group and in light of Jeremy Hunt’s recent appointment as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sharon Hodgson MP was elected as Co-Chair, having previously supported the Group as Vice-Chair over the last calendar year. Sharon is is an Officer of the APPG for Valproate and other Anti-Epileptic Drugs in Pregnancy and Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Surgical Mesh. The current serving Vice-Chairs were re-elected, with the addition of Baroness Ritchie also joining as Vice-Chair.

The Group looked back on a year of significant activity and progress, including the appointment of Dr Henrietta Hughes as the first Patient Safety Commissioner in England, and agreed that a renewed focus on seeking the implementation of redress schemes should be a priority for the Group over the next year.

The Group looks forward to building on the progress of the past year and would like to thank relevant Parliamentarians and campaigners for their continued support.

To view the documents related to the annual general meeting see below:

Second anniversary of First Do No Harm: Our campaign for redress

8th July marks two years since the publication of First Do No Harm, the landmark report of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety (IMMDS) Review.

Since then, there has been welcome progress in implementing some of the recommendations – the Government issued an apology to victims and last month we saw the announcement of the Government’s preferred candidate for the position of the Patient Safety Commissioner. There nevertheless remains a concern that the Government will not deliver on some of the remaining recommendations.

There must now be a renewed focus on implementing the remaining recommendations, so that we can deliver the change that thousands of affected individuals and their families need and deserve, and to ensure we minimise the risk of patients suffering avoidable harm in future.

A priority must now be delivering redress for those who have suffered avoidable harm, given the potential it has to improve the greatest number of lives immediately.

The Government has suggested that those affected should seek compensation through NHS Resolution or through litigation in court. This is an adversarial process that has not served affected individuals and their families well. Having seen the avoidable harm people have suffered and continue to suffer, we are firmly of the view is that there is a strong moral and ethical responsibility to provide redress.

Mythbusting redress


Our position on redress is based on the conclusion of the IMMDS Review that women, their children and families have suffered years of severe physical pain, financial hardship stress, anxiety and feelings of guilt – all through no fault of their own and brought about by the healthcare system’s lack of openness and its unwillingness or inability address the avoidable suffering that has occurred.

We understand the Government is working on an update detailing its progress in implementing the recommendations of the IMMDS Review. Ahead of that update, you can help maintain momentum and join our campaign by:

Letter to the Minister for Patient Safety

Baroness Julia Cumberlege CBE, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP and other supporters of the APPG First Do No Harm have written to the Minister for Patient Safety, calling for the government to reconsider its continued advocacy for a litigation route for those harmed by Primodos, sodium valproate and mesh. The signatories of the letter are calling for a meeting with the Minister to discuss the need for redress schemes, as initially recommended by the First Do No Harm report.

Read the full letter to Maria Caulfield MP, Minister for Patient Safety and Primary Care below.

Click here to view.

UPDATE – Virtual public meeting on redress

On Wednesday 26th January from 10:30-12:00, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for First Do No Harm (APPG FDNH) held a virtual public meeting on the topic of redress schemes for those who have suffered avoidable harm linked to pelvic mesh, sodium valproate and Primodos.

This meeting was an opportunity to hear from representatives of various patient groups about what victims need and what they are missing from current support mechanisms. Officers and members of the APPG FDNH also provided an update on the Health and Care Bill, which passed through Committee in the House of Lords earlier that month.

The meeting was Chaired by Baroness Cumberlege (Co-Chair, APPG FDNH), joined on a virtual panel by representatives of the following patient groups, as well as Officers and members of the APPG FDNH:

  • Sling the Mesh
  • Association for Children Damaged by Hormone Pregnancy Tests (ACDHPT)
  • Independent Fetal Anti-Convulsant Trust (IN-FACT)

Attendees had the opportunity to put forward questions during the meeting and were invited to follow the event on social media by using #Redress and #FirstDoNoHarm.

To view a recording of the session please see below or click here

Download meeting note

A note of the meeting is available to download. Click on the link above to view.

Update following Annual General Meeting

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 ProgrammeSky 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.

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.”



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

For more information contact the Group’s Secretariat at Luther Pendragon via


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.