New powers for hospitals to develop personalised treatment

The introduction of the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill will enable hospitals to use innovative, personalised medicines for unique cancers and diseases.

This means that hospitals can use patient tissue and DNA samples to tailor treatments to individual patients when other medicines have failed, or to develop drugs that have a shelf-life of minutes and would otherwise be unavailable to them.

The Department of Health and Social Care hopes that this will streamline access to treatments for patients with rare cancers and brain tumours.

The bill, introduced on 13 February, will also:increase the range of professions able to prescribe medicines in low-risk circumstances, reducing unnecessary GP appointments. This means the NHS can make the best use of its highly skilled workforce, saving patients’ time and reducing unnecessary GP appointments.

It will also introduce new regulations on medical devices, such as pacemakers, breast implants and ultrasound imagers, further boosting patient safety and ensuring the UK leads the way in developing pioneering health technology.

Health Minister Baroness Blackwood said: “I am determined to help everyone who uses our world-leading NHS to access pioneering, cutting-edge treatments as soon as possible. The new bill will give our most treasured institution further freedom to innovate to improve the lives of countless people and protect patient safety to the highest standards. It will slash red tape, support uptake of treatments for people with rare diseases and empower those in the NHS who know what’s best for their patients to deliver the best quality care.”

Event Diary

Following the 2017 Naylor Report into NHS estates, it has been estimated that estate upkeep costs have reached approximately £10bn in annual funding for 2019/2020.

More recently, ERIC (Estates Returns Information Collection) data collection has contained some deeply alarming news about the condition of NHS buildings and equipment.

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