'Nothing about us, without us' – medical technology and patient/public involvement
We were delighted to take part in the Urology Trade Association (UTA) and The Urology Foundation’s (TUF) jointly-hosted Parliamentary Reception at Westminster recently, where the theme of the evening was ‘Working together to support innovation in the medtech sector’.
Our founder, Baroness Sue Masham was in attendance along with a host of clinicians, policymakers and industry figures to hear more about the development of the new Medical Technologies Directorate at the Department for Health and Social Care. The directorate has been formed with the aim of cementing Britain’s position as a world leader in med-tech research and innovation, and to look at the increasingly important role med-tech is playing in the prevention of ill health and the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
The reception heard from several speakers, including Chris Stirling (interim director of the MedTech Directorate) and Anne Marie Morris (MP for Newton Abbot and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Access to Medicines and Medical Devices). Our campaigns manager, Dave Bracher, provided a patient perspective and stressed the importance of choice, access to high quality, innovative medical products to maintain a fulfilled and quality life, and the critical importance of the patient voice.
Dave also made it clear that med-tech can’t be driven with a cost-cutting agenda. Cutting costs may happen organically, but people who rely on medical products need consistent, reliable safety to be at the heart of the process. Otherwise, the next stop is likely to be hospital, and a drive to save a few pence in one area will lead to significantly increased costs for their treatment being met by the NHS.
In his patient perspective, Dave drew a direct connection between the new directorate and the wider medical products industry working with patients and ‘end users’ to ensure shared development, shared decision making and therefore the best possible outcomes for everyone – and the genuine chance for end users to help shape the direction of travel! ‘Nothing about us, without us’, as the saying goes – how else can you best guarantee an innovative and sustainable future for urology products, and wider medical products, sector?
The Reception also saw the launch of the UTA-TUF Urology Pledge and all attendees were actively encouraged to sign up to this. The Urology Pledge contains the following statements:
- Patient safety and outcomes should remain of primary importance to industry and government.
- Patients have a right to be involved in decisions about their care or treatment. Shared decision making between the clinician and patient should be promoted.
- Patients and clinicians should be able to choose from a wide range of products and services to suit their individual needs.
- Every patient is unique in their own right, and their product preferences should be respected.
- No patient should have to worry about accessing a product that effectively manages their condition and helps them to maintain independence.
We’ve signed the Urology Pledge, and encourage all our members to do the same – just click on the button below. We have also followed up with Chris Stirling to reinforce our offer to work with the new directorate whenever possible, and to provide the patient perspective they will need.