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Mark Hughes


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About Mark Hughes

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    United Kingdom

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  • About me
    I'm the Business and Policy Manager at Patient Safety Learning (PSL). I'm currently working to develop PSL's internal business and management processes and also providing policy research and support. My background is working in the third sector in health and social care and previously in a number of different roles for two Members of Parliament.
  • Organisation
    Patient Safety Learning
  • Role
    Business and Policy Manager

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  1. Content Article
    Written Questions are a parliamentary mechanism by which Members of the Senedd can table questions specifically for a written answer by the Welsh Government or the Senedd Commission. Laura Anne Jones MS asked what progress had been made in Wales in implementing the findings of the Cumberlege Review (The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Review). This review examined how the healthcare system in England responds to reports about the harmful side effects from medicines and medical devices and consider how it could respond to them more quickly and effectively in the future. Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services, responded as follows: The Cumberlege recommendations are primarily focused on England but they have implications for Wales. I issued a written statement on 15 July about the Cumberlege review: https://gov.wales/written-statement-baroness-cumberleges-announcement-use-surgical-mesh In that statement, I said the principle of high vigilance to ensure mesh use is restricted until the same conditions Baroness Cumberlege identified in her report are met should also apply in Wales. Her recommendations were consistent with those made by the review panel, which I set up at the end of 2019. It is my expectation that sufficient levels of clinical governance, including consent, audit and research are in place in health boards in Wales to ensure all women can be confident that all possible safeguards are in place. The evidence we have already of a significant reduction in the use of vaginal mesh procedures in Wales suggests a “pause” is already largely in place, driven by a change in clinical decision making during recent years. However, it is my expectation that these additional restrictions will be the case until the requirements for increased safeguards can be met. Action has already been taken on some of the recommendations. Specialist mesh centres have been identified in Swansea and Cardiff and work is underway in establishing a UK-wide medical device information system. In addition, the Women’s Health Implementation Group will be tasked with considering many of the recommendations of the Cumberlege review as they pertain to mesh, as this is consistent with work the group is already doing in this area. My officials are examining the other recommendations which relate to Wales and are working with the other UK governments to look at those recommendations with a UK remit. The Medicines and Medical Devices Bill, currently before the House of Lords, will also impact in relevant areas. I will issue a further statement when officials have completed their assessment of the options available and their implications for the future effectiveness of Wales’ healthcare service.
  2. Community Post
    Just over a week ago NHS England and NHS Improvement announced the launch of a network of 40 Long COVID clinics over the coming weeks. While there still needs to be more details providing, particularly a clear timeframe for the roll-out of these and information on their locations, I was wondering if anyone has heard about whether there are similar plans for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales? From a little online research at the moment I've only found the following: Northern Ireland No formal announcements from the Department of Health along these lines. The charity Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke have set up their own Covid Recovery Service. Scotland No immediately obvious proposals from this recent BBC News article covering the issue. Wales Quotes from a BBC News article from the Welsh Government that 'it expected health boards to develop and improve access to rehabilitation services'. This also mentions that the 'Cardiff and Vale Health Board is the first in Wales planning to open a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation service.' Have you heard or seen anything to suggest plans are in place in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales to move forward with a similar plan to the NHS in England? Or perhaps an alternative approach?
  3. Community Post
    On the hub now there is new information from National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) published today which gives more details about the forthcoming guideline on post-COVID syndrome which is planned to be published by the end of the year. The guideline scope published today defines post-COVID syndrome (also known as Long COVID) as signs and symptoms that develop during or following an infection consistent with COVID-19 which continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis. It says the condition usually presents with clusters of symptoms, often overlapping, which may change over time and can affect any system within the body. It also notes that many people with post-COVID syndrome can also experience generalised pain, fatigue, persisting high temperature and psychiatric problems.
  4. Community Post
    The NHS have today announced a new five-point package of measures to support Long COVID patients. We've set out Patient Safety Learning's initial thoughts on this in this press statement and would be keen to hear the views of others: https://www.patientsafetylearning.org/press-releases/nhs-announces-five-point-package-to-support-long-covid-patients
  5. Content Article
    Health and Social Care Select Committee This is a cross-party body that is responsible for scrutinising the work of the Department of Health and Social Care and its associated public bodies in the UK. It is composed of MPs and examines government policy, spending and administration on behalf of the electorate and the House of Commons.[1] Safety of maternity services in England The Committee opened an inquiry into the Safety of maternity services in England on the 24 July 2020. The intention of this inquiry is to examine evidence relating to ongoing concerns around recurring failings in maternity services, with MPs considering whether clinical negligence and litigation processes need to be changed to improve the safety of maternity services, as well as the extent to which a “blame culture” affects medical advice and decision-making.[2] Formal meeting (oral evidence session) - Tuesday 29 September 2020 In this video of the first oral evidence session of this inquiry, the Committee heard from: Michelle Hemmington, Co-founder at Campaign for Safer Births Dr Bill Kirkup, Chairman at Morecambe Bay maternity investigation and East Kent maternity investigation Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals at Care Quality Commission Professor Jacqueline Dunkley Bent, Chief Midwifery Office at NHS England and NHS Improvement Dr Matthew Jolly, National Clinical Director for Maternity and Women's Health at NHS England and NHS Improvement References UK Parliament, Health and Social Care Committee, Last Accessed 1 October 2020. UK Parliament, Safety of Maternity Services in England, Last Accessed 1 October 2020.
  6. Community Post
    You can now find a full transcript of yesterday's debate in the House of Commons on the hub via the link below:
  7. Content Article
    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.[1] 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. References UK Parliament, Adjournment Debates, Last Accessed 25 September 2020.
  8. Community Post
    The Campaign Against Painful Hysteroscopy have highlighted on Twitter that they will be a Adjournment Debate in the UK House of Commons on this tabled by Lynne Brown MP later today. An Adjournment Debate runs for 30 minutes and takes place at the end of a day's session in the House of Commons. They provide a opportunity for MPs to raise an issue in the chamber and receive a ministerial response. The times for these debates are always a bit fluid, but its likely to take place between 4.00-5.30pm and you can watch this on www.parliamentlive.tv or the BBC Parliament Channel on Freeview. The full transcript of this debate will be posted on the hub when it becomes available.
  9. Content Article
    What is a Early Day Motion? Early Day Motions are motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons for which no day has been fixed - as such very few are debated. They are used to put on record the views of individual MPs or to draw attention to specific events or campaigns. By attracting the signatures of other MPs, they can be used to demonstrate the level of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view.[1] Early Day Motion 864 - Researching and supporting people with long Covid-19 symptoms This Early Day Motion was tabled by Andrew Gywnne MP and sponsored by Layla Moran MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Tony Lloyd MP, Clive Lewis MP and Rosie Duffield MP. It reads as follows: That this House recognises that around 10 per cent of people experience prolonged illness after covid-19 and calls upon the Government to urgently collect and regularly report on the number of those living with long covid by following up on those with confirmed or clinical diagnoses of covid-19; notes that research into the disease should encompass both those who were and were not hospitalised to understand the true scale of the morbidity of the virus; and calls on the Government to swiftly consider and implement measures to support those living with long covid, including offering information and incentives to employers to retain their recovering staff who may or may not have confirmed cases due to limitations in testing, and ensuring that the NHS can support patients in their longer term recovery. References UK Parliament, What are Early Day Motions?, Last Accessed 15 September 2020.
  10. Community Post
    On the hub now is a link to the transcript of Tuesday's debate in the Scottish Parliament on the Scottish Government's response to the First Do No Harm report. While no formal details were given about the nature of this role, other than it will be open to consultation, some notable comments in the debate included: Alex Neil MSP suggested the role should be 'a parliamentary appointment, not a Scottish Government or NHS appointment', calling for the role to have real powers and should be (unlike the Scottish Human Rights Commissioner) able to investigate specific cases. Kenneth Gibson MSP also concurred with the suggestion this should be a parliamentary appointment. Pauline McNeill MSP stressed that 'the independence of a patient safety commissioner is paramount'. Neil Findlay MSP said 'that person must carry the confidence of survivors of mesh, Primodos and sodium valproate, and I suggest that survivors should be heavily involved in the recruitment of that person'.
  11. Content Article
    During the debate there were contributions from a range of parliamentarians reflecting on the First Do No Harm report and the implementation of its recommendations in Scotland. Some points of interest from the debate included: Jeane Freeman MSP indicated the intention of the Scottish Government to implement the recommendations of the First Do No Harm report which fall within its remit and powers. Their discussion about the report's recommendation that specialist centres should be set up to provide comprehensive treatment, care and advice for those affected by implanted mesh. While Jeane Freeman noted that a National Mesh Removal Service had been established in Glasgow last year, Neil Findlay MSP expressed concerns that the levels of coproduction involved in the design and delivery of this service were inadequate. Alison Johnstone MSP highlighted the particular impact of these issues on women and noted nthat the findings reflected the ways in which women are disadvantaged in accessed health and social care services. In her closing remarks Clare Haughey MSP, Minister for Mental Health, noted the intention to begin a consultation on the Scottish Government's proposal to introduce a Patient Safety Commissioner. Follow the link below for the full transcript.
  12. Content Article
    During the debate on the second reading of the Bill there were contributions from a range of parliamentarians, reflecting on how it related to the recommendations in the recently published First Do No Harm report by the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, chaired by Baroness Cumberlege (also known as the Cumberlege Review). Some points of interest from the debate included: Baroness Cumberlege noting concerns that "rumours are absolutely rife of a ritual burial" of the First Do No Harm report. She noted plans to create a parliamentary group called First Do No Harm to ensure the recommendations of the report were implemented. She stated her intention to put down an amendment to the Bill to include a proposal to appoint a patient safety commissioner, one of the key recommendations of the report. In his closing comments Lord Bethell, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department of Health and Social Care), noted that this amendment had support from a number of members of the House of Lords and that they had sent "a clear message to the Government and the public that patient safety must be paramount in how we regulate medicines and medical devices". Follow the link below for the full transcript.
  13. Community Post
    Earlier this summer the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, led by Baroness Cumberlege, published its report First Do No Harm, which looked at how the healthcare system in England responds to reports about the harmful side effects from medicines and medical devices. One of the central recommendations of this report was the proposed appointment of a Patient Safety Commissioner who would “would champion the value of listening to patients and promoting users’ perspectives in seeking improvements to patient safety around the use of medicines and medical devices”. The UK Government has yet to respond to the recommendations of the report and on the specific suggestion of Patient Safety Commissioner the Care Quality Commission’s chief executive Ian Trenholm recently suggested he was not sure such a role was needed. However today in their new Programme for Government the Scottish Government have confirmed that they will seek to “establish the role of a Patient Safety Commissioner”, following the Health Secretary Jeane Freeman suggesting they were looking into this in August. While its still early days – we’re yet to hear details on the proposed Commissioner's responsibilities, resources and reporting lines – would be keen to hear other people’s thoughts on this. Do you think a proposed Patient Safety Commissioner in Scotland or any of the other three countries in the UK would be a positive development? If so, what would this type of role need in order to be successful and really make a difference?
  14. Community Post
    Patient Safety Learning have now submitted our formal consultation response on Patient Safety Specialists which you can find on the hub below. In this we've identified some key areas of the draft requirements for the role which we believe should be made more explicit (such as understanding human factors/ergonomics) and some key elements of this notable by their lack of detail (experience of engaging patients, families and carers in patient safety) or complete absence (how these role holders will engage with staff on the frontline). We'd be keen to hear thoughts on this and share any other feedback that people have submitted as part of this consultation process.
  15. Content Article Comment
    While the survey shows some improvements in percentage terms in responses specific questions around safety issues, this progress needs to be situated in the context of the overall size of the NHS and persistence of the systemic patient safety challenge we face. So for instance, 59.7% of staff said that their organisation treats staff who are involved in an error, near miss or incident fairly, which is up on 52.2% in 2015. However due to the number of survey respondents (569,440) this still means in practice that more than 200,000 of those surveyed feel their organisation does not treat fairly staff involved in a error, near miss or incident. Even taking account of the improvement, this clearly cannot be seen as an endorsement of a NHS culture where staff can feel safe and secure in reporting concerns. You can find the full Patient Safety Learning blog looking at the responses that relate to the ‘Safety culture’ theme in the survey here.