Making safer devices

Not leaving the private healthcare sector to its own devices, the Independent Healthcare Providers Network has been giving evidence to the Government’s Medicines and Medical Devices Review. David Hare reports.

The Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) firmly believe that a ‘whole systems approach’, which fully incorporates the independent healthcare sector, is vital to improve patient safety. 

So we were delighted to be invited to contribute when Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced a review last year into how Eng­land’s healthcare system responds to reports from patients about harmful side-effects from medicines and medical devices.

This followed the controversy around the use of pelvic mesh for urogynecologic procedures, where hundreds of women brought legal action after suffering severe pain and complications.

The review, chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege, is not seeking to re-do the work done by other reviews and expert working groups into pelvic mesh, Primodos and sodium valproate. 

Rather, it is looking more widely at the healthcare system’s response to patients’ safety concerns raised over time.