Living With Mesothelioma — The Saatchi Bill has been drafted and will be read in House Of Commons

I have recieved an email

Morning, Mavis,
I’m writing to update you on progress on the Medical innovation Bill.
We’ve been intentionally quiet over the past few weeks since the Department of Health closed their public consultation into the Bill.
We needed to look hard at the feedback we received, and take it into account as we worked on a new draft Bill, which we can now reveal to you.
The consultation has drawn us to four conclusions.
1/ Patients and many doctors and institutions want the Bill. We received more than 18,000 responses with very few against.
2/ Doctors are not clear on the law as it stands – some tell us they can innovate now, others say they can’t.
3/ Medical negligence lawyers are against the Bill and say it isn’t necessary.
4/ Many have told us that for the Bill to lead to new treatments, we need to ensure that the results of innovations – positive and negative – are recorded and shared.
You may know that the DoH version of the Bill was, in our view, muddy. Our new draft Bill, which will be introduced into Parliament on Thursday (June 5) is clear, concise and clean. We are confident now that all pertinent concerns have been addressed in the latest draft, which I have attached. The intention is to give doctors clarity, confidence and certainty in law from the start.
In short, the new draft Bill makes it clear that a doctor must get the agreement of a responsible and relevantly qualified body of medical experts as well as the consent of the patient. We have added another safeguard – that the doctor must also get the agreement of her or his responsible officer.
We have added to this an explicit clause that says that a doctor doesn’t need to use the Bill – s’he can rely on the law as it stands (known as the Bolam test) if s/he prefers.
If the doctor does all this, s/he can be confident s/he will be protected – from the outset. The law now offers doctors who innovate a defence, but this means that the doctor has to hope they will be found not guilty and in the interim they have to suffer the stress of a court case hanging over them.
Why would they risk that?
We are also committed to adding in a new clause at the earliest opportunity as the Bill proceeds, stating that a doctor must register all innovations, so that they can be shared with other doctors and patients.
(We did not add this into the draft Bill because initially we felt that we did not want to impose a legal duty on doctors to register innovations and add a bureaucratic hurdle to innovation. We were working with Oxford University to develop a voluntary register, outside the Bill. However, we have been persuaded that this must in fact be in the Bill itself).
This morning Prof Mike Rawlins is due on the Today programme approx 8.30 to discuss the Bill – although of course that may change!
Please find attached the new Bill and guide and you can also find it here:
Anyway, for now, thank you for your patience and forbearance.
With kind regards,

lord saat


A new Medical Innovation Bill has been drafted following the Department of Health’s public consultation into the Medical Innovation Bill which ended on 25 April 2014.

The consultation was designed to gather opinions as to whether the Bill was wanted and how it might best work. In other words, it was intended to obtain robust feedback in order to improve on the draft Bill.

Incorporating feedback

The overwhelming response from the more than 18,000 patients, doctors and institutions who responded was a clear vote in favour of the Bill.

The Bill team does not wish the Bill to be used as a guise for reckless experimentation and thus, the Bill states that it may only be used in the best interests of the individual patient.

Respondents also gave firm feedback that the Bill must be clearer on how it was to ensure that there was no room for the quack to use the Bill as cover for reckless experimentation.

So the new draft Bill is explicit and clear – a doctor who wishes to innovate cannot claim protection under the Bill without using a transparent and accountable process to consult a range of expert colleagues, including the doctor’s responsible officer and any relevant multi-disciplinary team, – only with broad consensus from colleagues will a doctor feel safe in relying on the protection provided by the Bill, which is the intention.

Sharing innovation data

Many also argued that for the Bill to work and to drive new treatments for hard to cure and currently fatal diseases data from innovative treatments must be collected and be capable of being shared among patients and doctors in an open, transparent and accessible manner.

Recognising the importance of collecting evidence and data from innovative treatments, the Bill team is committed to working with Oxford University who have agreed to develop a method of data collection and sharing which arise from the Bill.

Specially, following feedback from the consultation, we are committed to including an obligation on doctors that they must register innovative interventions in order to be protected by the Bill.

This obligation will be included as part of the statutory process during the Public Bill Committee Stage in the House of Commons.

→Download and read the guide and new (draft) Bill – published June 2nd 2014



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