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: March 2015

The HealthWatch UK debate on the Medical Innovation Bill

HealthWatch UK is a charity that has been promoting evidence-based healthcare since 1991. It has no connection with the Healthwatch organisations set up under the Health and Social Care Act 2012. They held a debate on 4 March 2015 in conjunction with King’s College London: “This house supports the Medical Innovation Bill”. For: Professor Sir Mike Rawlins, patron of HealthWatch UK…

A welcome decision

The Stop the Saatchi Bill Alliance welcomes the decision not to move the Medical Innovation Bill at its second reading. While we firmly support innovation, we were joined by countless charities, experts, professional and patients’ organisations in our concerns that the Bill, which was set to apply to all patients, all doctors, all conditions and all treatments, was both unnecessary…

The end of the Medical Innovation Bill

In just seven seconds, the fate of the Medical Innovation Bill was sealed: It was not moved by any MP. If it had been, it would have taken just one MP to shout ‘Object’ and it would have had to come back to the House of Commons for another attempt at a second reading. Because it was not moved, the…

Rearranging the Deckchairs

How the Lords Couldn’t Fix the Saatchi Bill Despite claims that the Medical Innovation Bill has been fully amended and is now strengthened, it remains unfit for purpose. The vast majority of amendments offered by Lord Saatchi’s colleagues to try to remedy the many faults of the bill were discarded. Of the more than 2000 words of amendments independently proposed…