This has been a computer day. from early morning to late at night.
So much is going on, so many surprises. We have been doing a huge charity thing that I can reveal on Friday. I have really been enjoying working with a few friends and it is all coming together friday. Promise
I have booked a Hotel for IATP’s Winter Wonderland in January
Looks a lovely place.
I went for a walk around the local playing field. Louis loved the other dogs there and wanted to play with them as they chased their balls their owners were throwing. He was good and no barking He had done that in the park. Its the only place we havent got him under control. He really must think he has to protect the park.
The weather was windy and chilly out of the sun.
I bet Lord Saatchi was pleased with an article in the Telegraph and also on the news.
Dying patients could be given access to untested medicines from early next year after the Government and doctors gave their backing to a bill proposed by Lord Saatchi.
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, has now thrown his department’s weight behind the Medical Innovation Bill which will make it easier for doctors to try out new treatments on patients without the fear of being sued.
The Bill – which has sharply divided the medical profession – has also received tentative backing from the General Medical Council, which earlier this year come out firmly against any change in the law, and a leading cancer charity.
The legislation was proposed by Lord Saatchi, the advertising magnate, who started to campaign on the issue after his wife Josephine Hart died from ovarian cancer.
Lord Saatchi told The Telegraph that the principle of allowing new drugs to be tested on desperately ill people was already being applied in the case of Ebola victims in Africa.
He said: “In dealing with the deadly Ebola outbreak, the World Health Organisation has decided that departure from standard evidence-based treatment is fully justified and essential.
“It has set ethical guidelines for the use of new therapies and interventions – they are identical to the provisions of the Medical Innovation Bill.”
Supporters said the plans – which could be law by March if MPs and peers agree – will allow victims of rare cancers to volunteer to be treated with untried drugs.
The late Josephine Hart and Maurice Saatchi. Photo: REX
Cutting out the need for years of clinical trials will bring down the cost of the medicine and may make pharmaceutical firms more likely to fund experimental drugs that only help a small number of people with rare diseases.
The Bill will be debated in the House of Lords this Friday and is due to be considered by MPs in the House of Commons In December. Its supporters said that the Bill now had a 75 per cent chance of becoming law.
Mr Hunt is hoping that the extra safeguard for patients will be enough to see off claims that the Bill is a “quacks’ charter”.
The Government has decided to support the Bill after new safeguards were agreed with Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s medical director.
The amended Bill now requires the agreement of at least one other speciallist before trying out untested medical treatments on patients.
Currently doctors routinely ask colleagues in their hospital for their opinion on how to treat patients in what is called the “Bolam test”. The amended Medical Innovation Bill will require them to seek consent from other specialists in the field to pass this test.
This will stop “dominant personalities” in a hospital – perhaps a senior consultant – getting their own way and acting against the interests of the patient.
A Department of Health spokesman said: “Innovation is at the heart of modernising the NHS and is essential for improving treatments and finding new cures and work on the Medical Innovation Bill is ongoing.
“We are pleased that Lord Saatchi has tabled amendments to the Bill to help ensure patient and staff safety.” A source added: “The Government is currently minded to support the bill as amended by Lord Saatchi.”
The amendments have persuaded the General Medical Council – which opposed any changes in April – to give its tentative support for the change in the law.
Professor Sir Peter Rubin, the council’s chairman , said: “Medicine is a risky business. There are many people alive today because of the willingness of doctors to innovate, deal with uncertainty and take reasonable risks which are understood, shared with, and consented to, by the patient in accordance with good medical practice.
“While we welcome the amendments to the Bill in Lord Saatchi’s name, we look forward to seeing the final version.”
Cancer Research UK, which has also expressed concerns about the originally-drafted Bill, also now supports the change in the law.
Sarah Woolnough, the charity’s Director of Policy and Information, said it was important that Parliament discussed medical innovation.
“We know that more could be done to promote innovation in cancer treatment, especially for patients with life-threatening conditions where there are few treatment options, and the Medical Innovation Bill aims to support clinicians to act innovatively where they have exhausted other options.
“The latest set of amendments laid on the Medical Innovation Bill are an improvement, requiring a doctor to seek advice from an appropriately qualified colleague before departing from standard treatment.
“We must ensure the Bill contains appropriate safeguards to protect patients. We will monitor the Bill’s progress closely and hope we will see a greater focus on innovation thanks to this Bill.”
Despite the changes, other doctors still remain concerned. Michael Baum, Professor Emeritus of Surgery at University College London, said last night: “Never once have we encountered interference or obstruction due to fear of litigation.
“There are of course many other obstacles to progress but changing the law with this bill is not going to accelerate innovation in cancer therapy, but might, as a result of unintended consequencconsequence endanger our patients by uncontrolled experimentation.”
It has been less than two years since the introduction of Lord Saatchi’s private member’s Bill, which seeks to support doctors who want to innovate and try new treatments for patients who have run out of other options.
In that time there has been amazing progress in what is, in parliamentary terms, no time at all – most private member’s Bills fall at the first hurdle. Yet Lord Saatchi’s Bill has defied political gravity.
It started as a Bill that the Government said it would not support, and also faced significant opposition from some sectors of the medical establishment. But it has transformed into one that is fully backed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and thousands of patients, doctors, charities and medical organisations.
They agree that patients who are dying and who have no further life-saving treatments available to them should be allowed the chance to explore something new and unproven – if such novel treatments are available. And their doctors must be confident that they are entitled in law to explore and offer such treatments, when all else has failed.
The Medical Innovation Bill will allow doctors to do this without the risk of being sued, as long as they follow the tight procedures within the Bill. This will give confidence to those doctors who may be anxious about using novel treatments. The Bill will encourage innovation and add momentum to the drive to find new, effective and scientifically grounded treatments for incurable diseases.
Lord Saatchi’s one and only desire is to draft a Bill that works, that will help doctors to help their patients by increasing innovation in health. There is no other agenda. This means that he has been – and remains – open to suggestions and ideas. He wants the best Bill – nothing more.
On Friday the Bill, with its amendments drafted by Sir Bruce Keogh, the medical director of the NHS, will be scrutinised and debated line by line, and peers will offer further amendments. We welcome this – this is democracy in action. It is a process that has already improved the Bill and will continue to do so.
There are twists and turns to come and knots to be unpicked. Even now, there are organisations arguing for contradictory clauses to be inserted, and not all can be accommodated. But the past two years have demonstrated that through patience, listening and goodwill, most issues can and will be resolved to make this work for everyone.
The General Medical Council and Cancer Research UK had concerns about the original version of the Bill, but today they are largely positive. Their concerns were heard and the Bill changed accordingly.
This shows how far we have come, and how through genuine consultation and a desire to reach out to experts – doctors, scientists, lawyers and patients – good law can be created.
As Telegraph columnist Dr Max Pemberton wrote: “It is a tragic indictment of modern medicine that innovation is too often jettisoned in favour of the status quo for fear of legal action. Defensive medicine is at the heart of so much clinical practice today, but the Bill – if accepted into law – would deftly excise this, leading the way for doctors to feel free to strive for medical advancement.”
All this is to late for our Darling OXO Mum We were all hoping she would reach that Christmas that she so wanted to see .
Loose Women did a lovely programme about her at dinner time
I put it her to record on my diary the loss of a really lovely lady, So pretty and so alive. RIP Linda
British actress and presenter Lynda Bellingham, who had cancer, has died at the age of 66, her agent has confirmed.
Sue Latimer said she died yesterday “in her husband’s arms”.
The actress, best known for her long-running role as a mother in the Oxo TV adverts, had been battling colon cancer since being diagnosed in July 2013.
Bellingham said she had planned to end her treatment to limit her family’s suffering after it spread to her lungs and liver.
In a statement on behalf of Bellingham’s family, Mrs Latimer said: “Lynda died peacefully in her husband’s arms yesterday at a London hospital.”
She added: “Actor, writer and presenter – to the end Lynda was a consummate professional.”
Bellingham was also known for such shows as All Creatures Great and Small and in recent years was on the panel of ITV’s Loose Women.
Husband Michael Pattemore told Yours magazine, for which his late wife was a columnist, that she had been unable to die at home as she had hoped.
“She was in too much pain and they didn’t have it under control enough for me to be able to look after her,” he said.
He told the magazine: “I just want her to be remembered as an actress more than anything, not as a celebrity or one of the Loose Women.
“She started her career as an actress and never thought of herself as a celebrity – she’s always been an actress.”
Speaking earlier this month, Bellingham said her decision to give up chemotherapy was “a huge relief because I took back some control of myself”.
The first 20 minutes of Monday’s Loose Women was dedicated to the show’s former co-host.
“The mood is very different in the studio today,” host Ruth Langsford said. “It’s a very sad day for us here on Loose Women… but we want this to be a celebration of Lynda.”
Bellingham’s friend Christopher Biggins gave an emotional tribute, telling the show: “Last night was a very difficult night, but I went to bed laughing, thinking of a joke she used to tell over and over again.
“It’s a blessing in a way, we don’t want her to suffer any more.”
Colleen Nolan, a panellist on the programme, was visibly moved but singer Jane McDonald, who also used to work on Loose Women, said Bellingham “would be mortified if we were all sad, weeping and wailing”.
She added: “We have to keep the spirit of Lynda alive.”
A final interview with Bellingham, which was recorded a few weeks ago, will be broadcast on Wednesday.
During an emotional appearance on the show recently, the actress told viewers: “Grasp it all, don’t be afraid, enjoy the bits you can and tell your family you love them while you have the chance.”
‘Naughty and funny’
After her death was announced, Christopher Timothy, who starred opposite Bellingham in All Creatures Great and Small, described her as “a real friend”.
“She was a life force. She was funny, she was loyal, talented and a great mum,” he told the BBC.
“On set, she was ‘one of the boys’ really – she was naughty and funny. We’ve all been expecting it, but it is so unjust she didn’t make her last Christmas as was her intention.”
Michael Redfern, who played Bellingham’s TV husband in the Oxo commercials that became a national institution, said “everyone liked her”.
“I think she was just normal, I think that’s all it was,” he said. “She was like the lady next door, the wife, your mother. She had everything, just a very open person.”
Kaye Adams, another of Bellingham’s Loose Women co-presenters, said Bellingham would be remembered as “honest, generous, kind, courageous, intelligent, thoughtful”.
Denise Welch, who also presented on Loose Women, told BBC Ulster Radio: “She turned everything into a positive. She’s left a wonderful legacy. [She was] one of the best character actresses that this country has known.”
Bellingham was born in Montreal, Canada, but grew up near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire after being adopted.
She studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama and went on to land roles including Helen Herriot in All Creatures Great And Small and the title role in sitcom Faith In The Future.
The actress, who had two sons and was married three times, was awarded an OBE in 2013 for her charity work.