Power to make regulations about human medicines

Part of Medicines and Medical Devices Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 12:00 pm ar 8 Mehefin 2020.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care) 12:00, 8 Mehefin 2020

I completely agree. I think that if we stood in the street for a bit and just straw-polled people, everybody would say that safety is uppermost and they would see the value in its being set on a higher tier, which is what I am suggesting. We are at this possibly significant moment—I believe it is 8 July—when the noble Baroness Cumberlege will come back with her review into what has happened. Obviously, it is a sign of the times and where we are, but at Second Reading people talked about it coming out in March. The world has passed us by, but I understand that publication of the review is imminent and I am keen for that date of 8 July to be confirmed.

If the review says that there are issues around patient safety, we would expect there to be recommendations and changes, which I think is reasonable. I will return to this theme later in the day. What might this say about the MHRA? Is it possible that the regime that we seek to put in place through the Bill might be overrun by events? If recommendations come out of that, is there a possibility of revisiting that in future stages to be clear about it? That is an argument against the sort of piecemeal regime that the Bill proposes, instead of coming back in, if not two years, then three or four, to set a full codified bringing together of the different Acts into one Bill.

I will finish on amendment 23 by referring to one of my favourite contributions from Second Reading:

“Patient safety is not a partisan issue; it is paramount.”—[Official Report, 2 March 2020; Vol. 672, c.689.]

The Minister may recognise her words. I completely agree with her.

Amendments 24 to 27 essentially make the same provisions across veterinary medicines and medical devices, and I do not intend to rehearse the arguments. On medical devices, surgical matters was a good example. There is the potential for life-changing and wonderful things, but also the real potential to do harm. We want to know that with every hip, breast, knee—whatever it is that is done—safety is paramount. Amendments 22 and 23 seek to create a special place for patient safety. I hope that the Minister will accept them.