Review launched over NHS treatment concerns

Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced a review into how the health system responds to reports from patients about side effects from treatments.

Led by Baroness Julia Cumberlege, the review follows patient-led campaigns on three NHS treatments: the hormone pregnancy test Primodos, which was used up until 1978; the anti-epileptic drug sodium valproate; and the use of vaginal mesh.

The review will consider whether any further action is needed relating to the complaints around Primodos, sodium valproate and vaginal mesh, as well as the processes followed by the NHS and its regulators when patients report a problem. As a result, the review will also seek to consider how to make sure communication between the different groups involved is good.

Hunt said: “Over the years, there have been significant concerns raised by individuals and campaign groups about the potentially harmful effects of 3 products used by the NHS. The response they have received from those in positions of authority has not always been good enough.

“From Primodos to mesh and sodium valproate, patients and their families have had to spend too much time and energy campaigning for answers in a way that has added insult to injury for many. I want to see if we can establish a fairer and quicker way of resolving these concerns both now and in the future.”

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