Royal College Of Pediatrics And Child Health Attack Saatchi Bill

Date Added 15.10.15

In our last blog we set out the serious concerns about the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill, of Dr Darren Conway PhD, Head of our Clinical Negligence Team. This is a new Act of Parliament, based on Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill which is being introduced by Local MP, Chris Heaton-Harris.

It is Darren’s view that the proposed change in the law will try to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. But that, in certain circumstances, it will remove a right for a negligently injured patient to be compensated, by providing a protection to a maverick doctor.

This change in the law will not benefit patients and, in the longer term, will not benefit doctors or medical research.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have now published their view of the Bill, which can be viewed here.

The College is responsible for training doctors who specialize in looking after children and young adults. Their mission is to “transform child health through knowledge, innovation and expertise.”

In an astonishing attack on the Bill the Royal College makes clear that “This Bill is unnecessary but more importantly, poses a real danger to the safety of infants, children and young people in England and Wales.”

They go on to say “The Bill will encourage irresponsible experimentation. Families, already at heightened susceptibility to the promise of miracle cures because of the illnesses of their children or loved ones, will be prey to at worst quackery and at best to the possibly strongly held but inadequately justified convictions of medical practitioners who do not know how, or do not wish, to test treatments objectively.”

Agreeing with Darren’s view, the Royal College say “What’s more, the Bill’s stated purpose of enabling practitioners to employ innovative treatments without fear of litigation is completely unfounded. There is no evidence to suggest that fear of litigation is a deterrent to a clinician’s use of innovative treatments. Doctors are already able to try new treatments under existing law.”

In conclusion the President of the Royal College, Professor Neena Modi, says “Let me be clear. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health is a strong proponent of clinical research to bring innovation into the care of sick children. The UK has envied strengths in clinical research, developed through recognition that it is a prime means to advance patient care.  This Bill will set back such progress.”

We fully endorse the view of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. If you agree then please let your local MP know your views.

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