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Health Secretary reiterates commitment to medtech at MTG reception

The Government is committed to ensuring patients benefit from the best medical technology available, according to Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock.

Speaking at the Medical Technology Group’s annual reception in the Houses of Parliament in December, Mr Hancock said he was focused on three key factors to ensure that safe, appropriate new technology is adopted by the NHS: facilitating uptake of technology; creating the right culture to embrace innovation; and ensuring the health service employs the right people to make the integration of new technology possible.

Over 150 MPs, Peers, clinicians, health professionals, patients and carers made the journey from across the country to attend the event to mark Medical Technology Week 2018 on the prestigious terrace at the House of Commons.  

The event highlights the value that medical technology gives patients by improving their quality of life, to the NHS by delivering efficiencies and cost savings, and to society by returning people to work and helping them lead a normal life. This year, as well as a keynote speech from the Secretary of State, guests heard clinicians and patients recount their personal experiences of how medtech delivers benefits. 

MTG Chair Barbara Harpham, marking her tenth year in the role, spoke passionately about the issue of rationing of treatments, which has led to a ‘deeply concerning’ postcode lottery. At a roundtable discussion earlier in the day, attended by representatives of NICE and HealthWatch, she spoke about a situation where the availability of treatments such as hip and knee replacements, hernia operations, and cataract surgery depends not on patients’ needs, but by where they live. 

To highlight the issue, the MTG is preparing for the launch of a new campaign called RationWatch, which will gather evidence of Clinical Commissioning Groups restricting access to treatments based on arbitrary constraints and thresholds, which often contradict national guidelines. 

RationWatch will collect data as well as individual patient stories to draw attention to the issue and call for action to address the problem. 

December 2018

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