Registration of Medical Devices

Medicines and Medical Devices Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:00 am ar 10 Mehefin 2020.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

‘(1) The Secretary of State shall by regulations establish a UK Registry of all devices implanted into patients on a long-term basis.

(2) The identifier details of any devices implanted into patients, on a long-term or permanent basis, must be registered.

(3) The information registered must include—

(a) The unique identifier of the patient into whom the device is implanted;

(b) The Clinician responsible for the procedure;

(c) The hospital or clinic in which the procedure is performed;

(d) A standardised description of the device;

(e) The unique identifier code of the device implanted.

(4) Efforts must be made for this unique identifier data to be gathered by barcode reader as in the trial of ‘Scan for Safety’.

(5) This Registry shall require linkage from all currently established speciality device registries, in current operation, to avoid duplication of registration.

(6) Devices without any form of specialist registry currently available shall be registered in this UK Registry.

(7) Governance structures regarding the management and access to registry data shall be established after consultation with stakeholders including but not limited to—

(a) the appropriate authorities as defined in Section 1 (4);

(b) all UK based Royal Colleges of Surgery or Radiology and any others representing clinicians involved in such procedures;

(c) Managers of current speciality device registries;

(d) the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency;

(e) the Directors of each of the four UK based National Health Services;

(f) healthcare quality improvement bodies from each of the four UK based National Health Services;

(g) representatives of the Healthcare device manufacturing sector;

(h) academics with expertise in the design and maintenance of registries;

(i) additional stakeholders as identified during the development and maintenance of such a registry.

(8) Patient information from such a registry shall be provided to clinicians if there is concern regarding the management of or complications from any implanted device to allow closer monitoring or removal if so warranted.”

The aim of such a UK register is to ensure earlier recognition of complications from implantable devices and allow the easy identification and urgent recall of affected patients should such a concern be recognised.

Brought up, and read the First time.

Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

I am pleased to give this clause a run-out on behalf of the hon. Member for Central Ayrshire. We have missed her during these proceedings, and I hope that conversations are ongoing through the usual channels about how we can make Public Bill Committees work and perhaps give hon. Members who cannot be here—for very good reasons—a chance to contribute.

This is the final new clause, but it is by no means the least important. In fact, it has the most potential to be a clause with which we do something quite exciting. A great deal of pain has been caused in the past. I will not get ahead of the Cumberlege review, but when things go wrong in the space of medical devices, they go wrong catastrophically and in a life-altering fashion. None of us would want to see that; all of us would want to do anything we can to avoid or mitigate that harm.

The new clause would establish an exciting regime of registration of medical devices. It would provide information on a granular level—we have seen the level of detail that the hon. Member for Central Ayrshire has put into it—so that we know exactly what medical device has gone where and for what purpose. This is a complex area. We talked on Monday about the various different registries or registrations we could have, and all are complex and require reflection. This would be a good part of marking the Government’s card. Since Monday, we have had very good informal conversations about how we can take this forward.

I believe there is a clear willingness on the Government’s part to come up with something really good, and to work by consensus to establish it. That is a good thing. We can pull together Members with expertise from across this place and the other place, to come up with something that really works, and which brings stakeholders in, too; this is in their interests. We want something practical that works. We are exactly in the right space. I would be interested to hear the Minister’s comments.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 10:15, 10 Mehefin 2020

As the hon. Gentleman knows, I am also enthused and excited about the register, because it offers us a space to do something good. I am very grateful to him and the hon. Member for Central Ayrshire, to whom I spoke at the weekend, as I said on Monday, and I noted that she would not be with us for Committee proceedings.

A registry of long-term implantable medical devices as suggested in new clause 6 is of significant interest to many Members. On Second Reading, many Members put forward good ideas on how we could make a register work for the benefit of patients. We should consider this in the context of the forthcoming report from the independent medicines and medical devices safety review and the matters it looked into, particularly the use of pelvic mesh, and how we oversee medical devices, including post-market surveillance. It is not only the point when the device is implanted that is vital, but also the potential impacts some years later. I know we all recognise the critical importance of ensuring that patients are heard and that concerns about medical devices are identified and dealt with quickly and effectively. That must be at the forefront of our minds. As the hon. Gentleman said, the impact on an individual’s life can be significant.

New clause 6 is similar to new clause 1, which was tabled in the name of my hon. Friend Anne Marie Morris. I know that she and many other Members in the House and the other place are interested in what more we could do to improve the tracking of implantable medical devices. The issue has also been a subject of interest to the Health Quality Improvement Partnership and the Royal College of Surgeons. It is very topical.

Clause 13(1)(h) provides for the creation of a register of medical devices to capture which devices are available on the UK market and to ensure that the MHRA can identify which device has been produced by which manufacturer. There has been some confusion in some of the written evidence as to whether that is intended to constitute a registry. A registry as in new clause 6 suggests bringing together patient and clinical information with device information. We have device registries, such as the national joint registry in the UK, which is seen as a global exemplar, so it is important to make sure that we do what we need to in order to enhance what is already in the system.

I understand the intent behind the new clause and, as ever, I am keen to understand what more we can do to protect patients in a fast-moving and constantly innovating environment, but I am not sure that new clause 6 is practical. The hon. Member for Central Ayrshire and I discussed the fact that it was heading in the right direction, but we need to work on it.

Patient safety absolutely underpins everything in our approach to regulation of medical devices in the Bill. It is the key consideration for all of us, as set out in clause 12(2)—the Government have put it there as the key priority. That is why we have introduced the ability for the Secretary of State to disclose information in the event of a safety concern, as we discussed.

I am not sure that the new clause achieves what the hon. Members for Central Ayrshire and for Nottingham North want it to. The intent is to establish a UK registry linking together all existing device registries, so that duplication of the entry of information is reduced, and to require the information entered to include the specifics of a device, such as the clinician who implanted it—information that, in the event of something going wrong, would give a clear picture of what happened. Although that is a commendable aim, the existing registries have been established over time and have expanded into different regions, evolving as they go. We have not had conversations on linkages to the registers in various parts of the country and in devolved Administrations. It is right and proper that we pull back and ensure that we have taken in the views of all stakeholders, and done the proper engagement to ensure that we collect the information from registers appropriately. That needs some work, partly due to the differing operating approaches in each registry. I gently suggest that the proposal in subsection (6) that all implanted devices without a specialist registry be logged on a national registry is a little broad at this stage. We perhaps need to talk about that with stakeholders and others.

The new clause also seeks to establish a governance structure, after consultation with a range of stakeholders, on the management of and access to the proposed registry. I suggest that the consultation requirement is out of step with the consultation duty in clause 40, which provides that consultation with those considered appropriate must take place before we make the regulations. It is a little cart before the horse but, that notwithstanding, this is very much the direction of travel. I remain of the view—no doubt we will come to this point—that we must ensure that we do not inadvertently rule out consulting those who ought to be consulted.

The hon. Member for Nottingham North and I have had discussions in this space, and we are united in wanting this idea to get to the right place. I appreciate the careful consideration that was given to the new clause, and I am grateful for it. I would welcome further discussions in the near future.

Photo of Matt Western Matt Western Opposition Whip (Commons)

I am keen to clarify, not having been party to previous debate, what happens with non-medical cosmetic devices implanted by a medical procedure. Should registry for them be part of this consideration? There is a subsequent impact on our NHS when things go wrong.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

I thank the hon. Member for his intervention. We are not talking about cosmetic devices here, but I very much take his point. If it involves implantation, it is worth talking about, in the round, during consultation; however, many of the cosmetic issues he refers to may be temporary—if, for example, a device is inserted and then taken away. The legislation is about implanted devices. Again, it is something that we would talk about and ensure that we had consulted on, but for the purposes of the Bill, we are specifically looking at medical devices, and the definition of them.

As I said, I welcome discussion with those interested in these matters, particularly as we look forward to Baroness Cumberlege’s review, which is coming very shortly. On that basis, I ask the hon. Members for Central Ayrshire and for Nottingham North to withdraw the motion, but I will commit to following up with arrangements to have those discussions in a timely fashion.

Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

We are in vicious agreement on this point. The new clause provides a possible destination, but through conversations and the expertise of colleagues, we may end up going in a similar but different direction. It is right that we start with the goal in mind and then work to where we get to. I think there is real potential in this area. As the Minister said, my hon. Friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington made a very important point, because the principles are very similar. There may be scope to include the areas that he mentioned also.

I thank the Clerks and you, Chair, for your support in this process. We have had some very good discussions, and laid the groundwork to do even more. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.

Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

Question proposed, That the Chair do report the Bill, as amended, to the House.

Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Ceidwadwyr, Shipley

Before I put the final question, I thank all Members, particularly the Minister and the shadow Minister, for the way they have conducted themselves throughout the proceedings, which have been a pleasure to chair. I also thank the two Clerks and the Hansard reporters for their hard work.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, accordingly to be reported.

Committee rose.

Written evidence reported to the House

MMDB15 Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI)

MMDB16 British Veterinary Association (BVA)

MMDB17 Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC)

MMDB18 National Pharmacy Association (NPA)

MMDB18 Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)