Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has responded to the publication of findings from the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege.
The report “First Do No Harm” sets out nine major recommendations to bring much-needed help and support to those who have suffered as a result of three medical interventions: Primodos, sodium valproate, and pelvic mesh. The review also makes recommendations on how to reduce the risk of avoidable harm from medicines and medical devices in the future.
The Review’s major recommendations include:
- That a Patient Safety Commissioner is appointed. This person would be the patients’ port of call, listener and advocate, who holds the system to account, monitors trends, and demands action.
- Separate schemes should be set up for Hormone Pregnancy Tests, valproate and pelvic mesh to meet the cost of providing additional care and support to those who have experienced avoidable harm and are eligible to claim.
- A Redress Agency for those harmed by medicines and medical devices in future should be established.
- The establishment of two types of specialist centres, located regionally – for mesh, and separately for those affected by medications taken during pregnancy.
- The regulator of medicines and medical devices, the MHRA, needs to put patients at the heart of its activity, and to overhaul adverse event reporting and medical device regulation.
- That a central database should be created by collecting key details including the patient, the implanted device, and the surgeon.
- That the register of the General Medical Council (GMC) should be expanded to include a list of financial and non-pecuniary interests for all doctors, as well as doctors’ clinical interests and specialisms.
- Finally, that the Government immediately sets up a task force to implement the Review’s recommendations.
Speaking following the publication, Giles said:
“Having met with local residents, June Faircloth and Joanne Brookes, who were adversely affected by the use of pelvic mesh, I know how much they have suffered, and it is right that they seek redress. In recent years, these women have campaigned bravely and the publication of this report, and its recommendations, is the first stage of their journey to justice.
“I hope that all those affected will receive some sort of closure as soon as possible, and that all of the report’s recommendations are enacted just as quickly. I recently questioned Ministers on this issue, and it is clear that, to date, the response has moved too slowly. We cannot allow that to continue.”