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

David

Treatment Under the Saatchi Bill

Okay, my post earlier today about how the Medical Innovation Bill would really work (as opposed to how the bill team claims it would work seems to have generated quite a bit of discussion, so I thought it would be worth running through my flowchart quickly with you to show my working out, as it were. Here are links to…

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…

Bad Consultation, Bad Bill

[Since I wrote my previous article on the consultation process for the Medical Innovation Bill, there have been a number of developments, most importantly the publication of the Department of Health’s own report into the consultation. The article you are now reading is intended to replace the earlier one – you do not need to read the original in order…

Muddy Waters

I salute the PR industry for finding new and elaborate ways to muddy the waters. (Ben Goldacre — Guardian, 20 November 2010) When Ben Goldacre wrote those words, he was talking about the use (or misuse) of PR to guide people into answering survey questions the way the PR company wanted them answered instead of how they would naturally be answered.…

Counting the Cost?

A couple of days ago, I tweeted that I’d written more than 6000 words in the previous week on the Medical Innovation Bill, noting — somewhat ruefully —– that it would take a lot more words to describe all the problems with the wretched mess they call the Saatchi Bill. I wasn’t joking. The lofty claims being made for this Bill…

There’s Negligence and There’s Negligence

The published figures for the cost of litigation in the NHS are not related to the problem the Saatchi Bill claims to solve. Patients may still be able to sue for bad practice, but post-Saatchi they would have to fight the Bill before they can fight their claim, which would be more expensive, more complex, and more unfair on patients…

Why the Saatchi Bill Cannot Work

While the team promoting the Medical Innovation Bill have continued to claim that it protects patients — indeed that it strengthens patient protections — they have been quietly chipping away at those protections. Even if the Saatchi team’s claims about innovation were true, the Bill cannot succeed in its aims. Bill’s adviser and government minister admit that if it worked…

Lords of the Round Table

We have heard in today’s important debate that noble Lords want dialogue and discussion with the noble Lord, Lord Saatchi, and indeed he has said that himself. Is he prepared to consider hosting a round-table discussion with all those Peers who have an interest in the matters before us today? That would be a very helpful way forward. — Baroness…

Without A Parachute

Reblogged with permission from Without A Parachute by David Hills In which Saatchi Bill rhetoric takes a bit of a nose dive In a piece on Sputnik News today, the Saatchi Bill’s campaign director — Dominic Nutt — responds to criticism of the bill by The Lancet, which follows on from previous criticism by more than 100 oncologists. Actually, he doesn’t respond…

Never say you’re wrong

PR means never having to say you’re wrong — Charles Prentiss, Absolute Power The PR campaign for the Medical Innovation Bill grinds on. Sir Michael Rawlins was on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme on 7th September, extolling what he felt were the virtues of the Saatchi Bill. As well as undermining his own argument by pointing out that: We use lots…