Read the latest HealthWatch newsletter:  Issue 110, Autumn 2019

There are currently over 500,000 different medical devices and in-vitro diagnostic devices on the market in the UK, produced by over 3,500 companies turning over around £22bn, providing jobs for 120,000 people and accounting for £5bn in exports annually. Yet there is at present no comprehensive list of devices on the market. Groups formed by patients harmed by devices — such as vaginal mesh and breast implants — have found a shocking lack of transparency over adverse effect data, and such low standards for device approval that there are serious risks to patients.

The HealthWatch Symposium 2019: Evidence, Healthcare and Medical Devices & Implants aimed to clarify the current issues facing evidence based healthcare in the field of medical devices and implants, and to identify areas where HealthWatch and similar organisations might most productively concentrate their efforts.

This important background paper, prepared for us by HealthWatch member and TranspariMED founder Till Bruckner, focuses on evidence requirements for medical devices in the UK in the context of recent media investigations. It gives an overview of governance in the UK for these devices. It also demonstrates some of the conflicting pressures and requirements in this area.

Today, Healthwatch publishes the report of its June symposium on devices — see below.

The committee now has to decide how to take this forward. We need the ‘many eyes’ and wisdom of our members to determine the strategy we can reasonably take forward.

The symposium was built on an excellent background paper commissioned from Till Brucker, and many congratulations are due to John Kirwan and team for steering and reporting on this pioneering event. It brought many diverse and expert stakeholders together to listen, think and talk about evidence and healthcare, innovations and risks, outcomes and regulation. Whether you attended or not, you will be stimulated and will learn a lot. At our next trustees meeting we will be pulling together a vision for the future and actions we (or others) can make.

Please do take the time to read the reports, maybe with a cup of tea, and then respond by Friday 6th September using the form below.

Thanks in advance.

Susan Bewley

Chair of Trustees


Report from the HealthWatch Symposium 17th June 2019

Appendix 1 List of participants

Appendix 2 Full programme details

Appendix 3 Background paper -An overview of medical device governance in the UK by T Bruckner

Appendix 4 Slides from introductory talks

Appendix 5 Presentations to discussion groups and reporters notes


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