First Do No Harm

The review looked at 3 treatments which have caused harm and which only slowly and reluctantly been recognised as such. These are: hormonal pregnancy tests, the anti-convulsant drug Sodium Valproate when given in pregnancy, and the use of polypropylene mesh for pelvic repairs. In all cases serious harm and much suffering resulted and was only slowly recognised.

The review looks at the experiences of patients, the reasons for the delayed recognition of the harm and makes 9 recommendations to remedy the situation. Among these is the appointment of an independent Patient Safety Commissioner, the creation of better registries of use of medicines and medical devices, improvements in the law on medical devices and the creation of a Redress Agency.

A reading of at least the Introduction and summary of Overarching Themes is highly recommended.

You can hear a podcast from the Health Service Journal on why the Government will bury the Cumberlege review here .