This was an Adjournment Debate from the House of Commons on the 24 September 2020 on NHS Hysteroscopy Treatment tabled by Lyn Brown MP.
What is an Adjournment Debate?
There is a 30 minute Adjournment Debate at the end of each day's sitting of the House of Commons. They provide an opportunity for an individual backbench MP to raise an issue and receive a response from the relevant Minister. Unlike many other debates, these take place without a question which the House of Commons must then make a decision on.
NHS Hysteroscopy Treatment
In this debate Lyn Brown MP outlined the issue of significant numbers of women who experience extreme levels of pain when undergoing a hysteroscopy, highlighted by groups such as the Campaign Against Painful Hysteroscopy. She noted concerns around:
- Lack of access to pain relief.
- Lack of informed consent - noting that while improved information leaflets have been produced by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, many women are still not being provided with this information prior to the procedure.
- Lasting trauma for patients.
Best Practice Tariff and perverse financial incentives
Lyn Brown also noted a particular issue of a financial incentive that deters the use of pain relief in hysteroscopy procedures. She noted that NHS trusts are encouraged to perform hysteroscopies as outpatient procedures, through the NHS best practice tariff. She noted that the way the tariff is designed means that a trust will lose money if it provides general anesthetic for such procedures.
In her response the Minister for Patient Safety, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Nadine Dorries MP, indicated that forthcoming technical changes to the tariff for 2021-22 may address this issue for hysteroscopy procedures.