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: February 2015


The Saatchi Bill campaign has come up with an infographic showing how they claim the Bill would work in practice. Although I’ve already produced a flowchart to show where that infographic is wrong (spoiler alert: it’s wrong about everything), the estimable @lexistwit has gone one further, and created his own replacement for the infographic itself. Here’s how it should have…

Into the Commons

The Medical Innovation Bill was sent to the House of Commons following its Third Reading in the House of Lords on 23 January 2015. The Third Reading followed the usual format for these debates: more politeness and deference but not very much real scrutiny and analysis. There were just two amendments proposed: one by Lords Winston and Saatchi and one by Lord Hunt…

Bil Arloesi Meddygol? Wales votes No

Re-blogged with permission from Bil Arloesi Meddygol? Wales votes No by Sofia The Welsh Assembly votes unanimously against Saatchi Bill Vote in the Senedd clear: National Assembly for Wales united against Saatchi Bill a solution in search of a problem and not a very sound solution at that Previous post on LCM here. The National Assembly for Wales debated the Medical…

The GMC: There is still no convincing argument

Re-blogged with permission from The GMC: There is still no convincing argument by Sofia The GMC tweeted a link yesterday highlighting its current position on the Medical Innovation Bill. This was a link to this month’s accountability hearing where the GMC provided oral evidence to the Health Committee in the House of Commons. At this hearing questions were asked about the…

Under The Bus

I hadn’t expected to be returning so soon to the subject of the Saatchi Bill consultation. But after I wrote my post criticising how their actions had undermined that consultation, the Saatchi bill team have responded. Yes indeed, and what a response it is. I’m going to assume you’re familiar with the bill, and with the arguments in my previous post…