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Patients Association Warns Against Unintended Consequences of Medical Database Bill

Ahead of the second reading of the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill in the House of Lords, the Patients Association has again warned that this proposed Bill may have a negative impact on both patient safety and medical innovation. 

The Bill aims to provide regulation‐making power for the establishment of a database of innovative medical treatments by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). It is intended that information relating to inventive medical treatments (and the outcomes of those treatments) carried out by doctors in England will be passed to the HSCIC using coding within patient notes.

The Patients Association supports any innovation that saves lives and provides better outcomes for patients - who deserve access to high quality, safe care. While medical innovations are important to provide the highest quality of healthcare possible, the Patients Association still has concerns regarding the implementation of the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill.

In relation to the Bill, Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association said:

“The Patients Association fully supports medical innovation, however any innovation must be in the best interests of patients. The Patients Association has expressed concerns about this proposed Bill since its inception. While we welcome the amendments made to the Bill to date, we still have concerns about the clinical benefit of a database of innovative treatments. 

“There remains a lack of clarity surrounding regulation and scrutiny of this database. Additionally we have concerns about possible unintended consequences of this Bill, as it must not have a negative effect on clinical research.”

Notes to Editors: 

For details on the Patients Association’s views on the Bill’s unintended consequences see: 


The Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill is a Private Member’s Bill from the House of Lords which had its first reading in the House of Commons in 2015. The Bill is intended to build upon provisions in Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill. Its first reading in the House of Lords took place on 1 February 2016. This stage was a formality that signals the start of the Bill's journey through the Lords, ahead of the second reading and the general debate on all aspects of the Bill today. The detailed design of the database is still to be consulted upon with professional bodies and organisations. View Bill: 


The Patients Association is an independent national health and social care charity established over 52 years ago, which has a long history of campaigning to ensure that the voice of patients is heard within the UK Health and Social care system.

For further information please contact Deborah McDonald, Director of Operations & Marketing, on 020 8423 9111, or email deborah@patients-association.com or call 07779 004898.

Visit our website at www.patients-association.org.uk

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