Steve McCabe MP calls for better patient access to medical technology

Poor uptake means patients are missing out, leading to complications and costing the NHS more

 Steve McCabe is backing a pledge to improve patient access to medical technology.


The pledge is being organised by the Medical Technology Group, a coalition of patient groups, research charities and medical device manufacturers, which is committed to increasing patient access to high quality, life-improving medical technologies to all who need it.


Medical technologies is a term that comprises all sorts of items. Anything from a bandage or a wheelchair, to an insulin pump or a hip joint replacement is classed as a medical technology.


Steve McCabe said: “Medical technologies can be very effective for patients with a range of conditions, helping them return to work, care for loved ones, or enabling them to be looked after at home. They can also save the NHS money by reducing the number and length of stays in hospital.


“But access to medical technology is not possible for many people who need it, and that’s why I’m supporting the Medical Technology Group’s pledge.


“We have a brilliant opportunity here in Birmingham to develop new medical technologies with the Life Sciences Park development on the former Selly Oak Battery Site coming soon. We already have the excellent University of Birmingham training the next generation of doctors and nurses and developing cutting edge research and the state of the art Queen Elizabeth Hospital which is also home to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, it would be great to see a new medical technology research centre at the Life Sciences Park!”


Barbara Harpham, chair of the Medical Technology Group, said: “The NHS is not adopting medical technologies as widely and as quickly as it should, and patients in the UK are missing out when compared to other countries.”


“Insulin pumps are a prime example. These have been approved by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) for the treatment of Type 1 diabetes, but uptake in the UK is currently 6%, half the target 12% recommended by NICE in 2008.

“The aim of our pledge is to highlight disparities in medical technology access and ensure that when decisions are being made about medical technologies, they are based on the value they will bring to patients, rather than how much they cost.”




The pledge states: “We believe it is crucially important that patients should have access to medical technologies recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) if clinically appropriate for them wherever they live in the UK.”

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