Stop the Saatchi Bill

Driven by an extraordinary two-year PR campaign on social media and a supportive newspaper partner, this all started as Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill, metamorphosed through several versions, and was resurrected under a new name by Chris Heaton-Harris, before finally clearing its last hurdle in the Lords this week to become the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Act. Pretty much the only thing they share is the word 'Innovation' in the title.

One day, it may be possible for politicians to ask the people who actually work in the medical field: what are the problems you face, and how can we help you overcome them?

One day, politicians may actually listen to the answers they receive, and thus try to tackle genuine problems rather than imagined ones.

One day, politicians, medics, researchers, lawyers, patient groups, charities, and the public, may work together to overcome the barriers to the development and provision of new treatments.

But it is not this day.

Read more: Not this day

Monthly Archives: July 2014

Time to call a halt

We welcome the publication today of a summary of the responses to the official Department of Health consultation on the Medical Innovation Bill (the so-called Saatchi Bill). Although this is only a summary of the responses rather than a full report analysis, it still clearly highlights major problems with the proposed legislation. The Saatchi campaign has attempted to push through this Bill without…

The medium is the message

Re-published with permission from Dr Archie Prentice, President of the Royal College of Pathologists First published in The Bulletin of the Royal College of Pathologists, Number 167 July 2014 Medical Innovation Bill One of the great attractions of a career in haematology or in any other clinical pathology discipline is the opportunity to contribute to continuous progress in understanding the causes of diseases and thus…

Government says the Medical Innovation Bill must be amended

Answering a question in the House of Commons yesterday, 21 July 2014, Dr Dan Poulter, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, said that although the Government supports the principles of the Medical Innovation Bill, amendments were required in four key areas. Poulter, who continues to work as an NHS hospital doctor on an unpaid basis, believed it was necessary to amend the…

Current Medical Innovation Bill and amendments

The Medical Innovation Bill has already gone through several incarnations, so it may be useful to clarify the text of the Bill before Parliament and to list the current amendments that have been tabled. Document Date Medical Innovation Bill (HL Bill 4) as introduced (pdf version) 06/06/2014 Explanatory Notes Bill 004-EN 2014-15 (pdf version) 06/06/2014  Amendments Amendment Date By Lord Winston 10/07/2014…

Lord Saatchi Compares Doctors to Medieval, Barbaric Hanging Judges

Re-blogged with permission from Lord Saatchi Compares Doctors to Medieval, Barbaric Hanging Judges by Andy Lewis The Second Reading of the dreadfully misconceived and dangerous Medical Innovation Bill took place in the House of Lord’s last Friday. Condemned as a Quack’s Charter for attempting to remove legal protections from patients against maverick, quack and incompetent practice, the team supporting the Bill…