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    MPS advises of need for better awareness of cauda equina red flag symptoms

    Wednesday, 09 May 2018 16:01
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    Anticholinergics linked to increased risk of dementia

    Monday, 30 April 2018 12:20
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    Friday, 27 April 2018 12:12
  • Buprenorphine may be safer than methadone in opioid substitute therapy, study suggests

    Buprenorphine may be safer than methadone in opioid substitute therapy, study suggests

    Monday, 23 April 2018 16:59
  • Class of diabetes drug linked to increased risk of irritable bowel disease

    Class of diabetes drug linked to increased risk of irritable bowel disease

    Thursday, 29 March 2018 11:49

A pregnant lady imageFebruary 28 2018

The Government has launched a review into how the NHS responds to reports from patients about side effects from treatments.

It will consider three treatments that have had been brought to prominence through patient-led campaigns: 

  • sodium valproate;
  • the Primodos hormone pregnancy test, which was used up until 1978;
  • the use of vaginal mesh.

Announcing the review, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Over the years, there have been significant concerns raised by individuals and campaign groups about the potentially harmful effects of three 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.”

Former health minister Baroness Cumberlege will chair the review. She has been asked to consider:

  • whether any further action is needed relating to the complaints around Primodos, sodium valproate and vaginal mesh;
  • the processes followed by the NHS and its regulators when patients report a problem;
  • how to make sure communication between the different groups involved is good.

Baroness Cumberlege, said: “It’s essential that voices aren’t just listened to, but properly heard, and that whenever appropriate, the system promptly learns lessons and makes changes.”

Epilepsy Action’s deputy chief executive Simon Wigglesworth commented: “Today’s announcement marks a major breakthrough for the thousands of women with epilepsy who’ve campaigned for change around sodium valproate.

“We urge Baroness Cumberlege to fully consider the decades of evidence provided by campaigning groups, including Epilepsy Action. This will help those families who’ve suffered can get some closure. It will also help women with epilepsy make fully-informed decisions about their treatment and planning a family.”

Links:
Department of Health and Social Care announcement  
Epilepsy Action statement       

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