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Patient power is key to transforming the NHS with medical technology, Parliamentary reception told

Halfway through the MTG’s Medical Technology Week reception, intestinal failure patient, Kim Purkis, held aloft her parenteral nutrition pump and told the audience: “This is what keeps me alive and has done for eight years”.

It was a powerful moment at a reception in which patient stories were at the forefront of reminding attendees why timely and equitable access to the best available medical technology on the NHS is so important.

Before an audience of leading policymakers, clinicians and industry members, we heard from Maree, who explained how she had played a pivotal role in providing feedback and comment to both clinicians and the designers of her innovative hip and knee implants that enabled her to undergo life changing surgery.

This year the Medical Technology Group has campaigned to raise awareness of the importance of using the lived experiences of patients like Maree to better inform decision making on the NHS. In two reports, we have highlighted best practice in meaningful patient involvement and called for more to be done across the NHS to harness the potential of patient power in decision making.

Backing the call for more patient involvement was Lord Markham, a minister in the Department for Health and Social Care, whose responsibility includes innovation, data and technology. He also spoke about the way in which digitally mature trusts were being used as benchmarks to level up innovation across the NHS. The MTG’s 2022 backlog report had highlighted best practices in such innovation, that allowed hospitals to treat up to three times as many patients.

David Lawson, Director of Medical Technology at the DHSC, also spoke on the need for more meaningful patient involvement in the NHS. “To make the best policy from a medtech perspective, we need to engage with patients as much as possible,” he said, drawing on the impetus provided by the Government’s new Medical Technology Strategy.

Dr Sam Roberts from NICE also praised the MTG’s recent meaningful patient involvement work, and called for patient groups to continue to feed in their experiences of medical technology as a means to provide better understanding of what constitutes excellence in healthcare.

The reception, hosted by Steve Brine MP, was an encouraging way to round off the year for the MTG, evidencing our influence in key areas of government policy, raising the profile of medical technology as a solution to the NHS’s long term problems. It was also a reminder to our industry and patient group members of the vitally important work they do in transforming patient lives.

December 2023

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