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

First Reading of the Saatchi Bill in the House of Lords

The Medical Innovation Bill had its First Reading in the House of Lords on Thursday 05 June 2014.

The First Reading is the first stage of a bill’s passage through the House of Lords. This is a formality and takes place without debate.

Hansard reported this simply as:

First Reading

The Bill will first be debated in the House of Lords, then passed to the House of Commons:


Bill process

In addition to debates in the Chambers, the Committee stages involve a detailed line-by-line examination of the Bill and it may ‘ping-pong’ back and forth between the two Houses. It can be a long process but a guide to the procedure, giving details of each stage, can be found here.