Home > NHA News > Dr Clive Peedell behind Times letter from over 100 cancer specialists opposing Saatchi Bill

Dr Clive Peedell behind Times letter from over 100 cancer specialists opposing Saatchi Bill

NHA co-leader Dr Clive Peedell is behind a letter to the Times signed by over one hundred of the UK’s leading cancer doctors and researchers  opposing the Medical Innovation Bill, the so-called Saatchi Bill, currently going through the House of Lords.

In the letter published today, the oncologists speak of their ‘dismay’ that the bill, proposed as a private member’s bill by Lord Saatchi, “is being promoted as offering hope to patients and their families when it will not make any meaningful difference to progress in treating cancer.”

The letter also makes clear that the law around medical negligence does not hinder or prevent innovation.

The Medical Innovation Bill (MIB) aims to change the current law of negligence, which the retired PR guru Lord Saatchi claims inhibits innovative practice, despite there being no evidence that this is in fact the case.

The other signatories include Professor Jonathan Ledermann from Cancer Research UK. Dr Ledermann is currently leading an international clinical trial of a new treatment for women with ovarian cancer.

They are the latest high profile opponents of the Bill, which includes Robert Francis QC, The BMA and the Patient’s Association.

Last month medical research and charitable bodies including the Motor Neurone Disease Association, The British Heart Foundation and the Medical Research Council joined forces to warn of the unintended consequences of the Bill.

The Bill has nevertheless progressed to report stage in the House of Lords and a spokesperson at the Department of Health told the Telegraph last month “The Government is currently minded to support the bill as amended by Lord Saatchi.”

Leading academics, legal experts and physicians have now come together to form the Stop the Saatchi Bill alliance, seeking to address what they see as a media blitz instigated by the millionaire peer in support of the bill which the Stop the Saatchi Bill team claim will lead to pain and suffering for many terminally ill patients

According to the Stop the Saatchi Bill alliance:

  • The bill is about removing patient rights, not giving new ones.

  • It is about absolving doctors from responsibility for their actions.
    A doctor can act without the support of their colleagues, and be protected by the bill.

  • It applies to treatment for any condition, major or minor.

  • It applies even if there is an existing effective treatment.

  • The major medical, patient and medical protection organisations oppose it.

  • It will not give us a cure for cancer.

  • It will inhibit research, not promote it.

Professor José Miola, professor of medical law at the University of Leicester and a member of the Stop the Saatchi Bill team, said:

The Medical Innovation Bill is being sold, through a well-resourced campaign, as offering hope to patients with incurable conditions. If only that were true.

The oncologists who wrote this letter, work at the cutting edge of medical innovation in cancer and have said that this Bill will not help their patients or their future patients. It is time that people listened to the experts and not the media spin.

The Bill has nothing to say about the funding of new treatments, budgetary constraints on research and development or the regulation of new drugs and devices.

Worse still, the bill will risk encouraging irresponsible experimentation rather than the responsible innovation The great majority of doctors are responsible and already try innovative treatments without the help of this bill.

All the bill will do is to allow negligent doctors to avoid liability. There are better ways of promoting medical innovation.”

ENDS

 

You can read the full letter here:

 

Dear Editor,

Lord Saatchi says he wants to make parliament find a cure for cancer. He condemns current cancer treatment as "the endless repetition of a failed experiment". The reason for such "abject failure" is, he believes, the law of medical negligence. His Medical Innovation Bill seeks to protect doctors who offer treatment that no responsible body of medical opinion supports and would therefore be considered negligent under the current law.

We devote our professional lives to treating patients with cancer and advancing research that contributes to finding more effective treatments for cancer. We neither want nor need Lord Saatchi's bill. We do not believe that it will help our patients or future patients. We are dismayed that the bill is being promoted as offering hope to patients and their families when it will not make any meaningful difference to progress in treating cancer. 

The law of medical negligence does not hinder our work or prevent innovation. There have been significant advances across all the modalities of cancer treatment over recent decades. There was no call for this change in the law from the medical profession. The current law already allows us to use off label drugs and to try new treatments when they are in patients' best interests.

We are concerned that rather than promoting responsible scientific innovation in the treatment of cancer, the Medical Innovation Bill will actually encourage irresponsible experimentation producing nothing more than anecdotal "evidence", at the potential expense of causing serious harm and suffering to patients, their families and carers. Innovation is best carried out within the discipline of controlled clinical trials, not by individual doctors acting on a whim.

Yours sincerely,

 

Dr Clive Peedell, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Co-chair NHS Consultants' Association

Professor Ruth Plummer, Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine, Director of Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle

 

Professor Charles Swanton, Group Leader, Cancer Research UK London, Chair in Personalised Cancer Medicine at the University College London Cancer Institute
Prof Jonathan A Ledermann, Professor of Medical Oncology, Clinical Director, UCL Cancer Institute & Director, CR-UK & UCL Cancer Trials Centre

Professor Michael Baum, Professor Emeritus of Surgery and visiting Professor of Medical Humanities, University College London

Professor Iain McNeish, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow
Professor John Radford, Professor of Medical Oncology, Institute of Cancer Sciences, The University of Manchester and the Christie NHS

Professor Tim Maughan, Professor of Clinical Oncology, CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology, Gray Laboratories, University of Oxford

Professor Jeff Evans, Professor of Translational Cancer Research (Experimental Therapeutics) and Director of the Institute of Cancer Sciences, CR-UK Beatson Institute
Professor Anthony Chalmers, Professor of Clinical Oncology, University of Glasgow, Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre

 

Professor David Cameron, Professor of Oncology at Edinburgh University and Director of Cancer Services in NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, ECMC lead, lead for Scottish Cancer Research network

Professor Tim Meyer, Department of Oncology, UCL Cancer Institute

Professor Robert Coleman, Professor of Medical Oncology, Academic Unit of Clinical Oncology, Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield

Professor Daniel Hochhauser, UCL Cancer Institute, University College London
Professor Christian Ottensmeier, Consultant Medical Oncology, Professor in Experimental Cancer Medicine, Southampton University Hospitals and University of Southampton

Professor Matt Seymour, Professor of Gastrointestinal Cancer Medicine and Consultant Medical Oncologist, Leeds

Professor Richard Kaplan, MRC Trials Unit, University College London

Professor Richard Kennedy, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen’s University Belfast

Professor William Steward, Professor of Oncology and Co-Director of Cancer Biomarkers and Prevention Group, Department of Oncology, University of Leicester

Professor Mark Middleton, Dept of Oncology, University of Oxford
Professor Chris Twelves, Deputy Director of Cancer Research UK’s Clinical Centre, St James’s Hospital, Leeds

Professor Gary Middleton,Professor of Medical Oncology, School of Cancer Sciences, University of Birmingham

Professor Tessa Holyoake, Professor of Experimental Haematology, University of Glasgow

Professor Anne L Thomas, Professor of Cancer Therapeutics, University of Leicester

Professor Josef Vormoor, Sir James Spence Professor of Child Health at Newcastle University and Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Oncology at the Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Robert J Jones, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Director, Cancer Clinical Trials Unit for Scotland (CaCTUS)

Dr Corinne Fairve-Finn, Honorary Consultant Clinical Oncologist, and Reader at the University of Manchester

Dr Richard Adams , Clinical Senior Lecturer, Institute of Cancer & Genetics, Cardiff

Dr Martin Forster, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Experimental Cancer Medicine and Consultant Medical Oncologist, UCL
Dr. Richard Baird, Academic Consultant in Experimental Cancer Therapeutics, University of Cambridge, Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology, Addenbrooke’s Hospital

Dr Alan Anthony, Senior Lecturer and Oncology Research and Innovation Lead, St James' Hospital, Leeds

Dr Richard Wilson, Reader in Cancer Medicine, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen's University Belfast, Clinical Director, N. Ireland Cancer Trials Centre and Network, Consultant Oncologist

 

Dr Rebecca Kristeleit, clinical senior lecturer and consultant medical oncologist UCL/UCLH

 

Dr Pippa G Corrie, Deputy Director, Cambridge Cancer Trials Centre, Consultant and Associate Lecturer in Medical Oncology, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Gerry Hanna, Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Clinical Oncology, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen’s University, Belfast

 

Dr Emma Dean, Honorary Consultant in Experimental Medicine and Clinical Senior Lecturer University of Manchester, Christie Hospital, Manchester

Dr Ellen Copson, Associate Professor in Medical Oncology/Honorary Consultant Southampton Oncology Centre

 

Dr Alastair Greystoke, Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology, Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle

 

Dr Paul Hatfield, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer, Leeds Cancer Centre, St James’s Institute of Oncology

Dr Mike Bayne, Clinical Director and Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Poole Hospital Cancer Centre, Dorset
Dr Chris Baughan, Consultant in Clinical Oncology and Care Group Lead, University Hospitals Southampton NHS trust
Dr Matthew Krebs, Clinical Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Experimental Cancer Medicine, Christie Hospital, Manchester

Dr Kevin Franks, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, St James’s Institute of Oncology, Leeds Cancer Centre, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

 

Dr Matthew Hatton, Consultant Clinical Oncologist Weston Park Hospital, and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield.

Dr David Wilson, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough
Dr Eleanor Aynsley, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

 

Dr Peter Dunlop, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough
Dr David Landau, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London

 

Dr John Frew, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle

 

Dr Toby Talbot, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Royal Cornwall Hospitals

 

Dr Alison Humphreys, Consultant medical oncologist, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

 

Dr. Noelle O'Rourke, Consultant and Hon Senior Lecturer in Clinical Oncology, Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre

 

Dr Andrew Bates, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Southampton
Dr Janine Graham, Consultant medical oncologist, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

 

Dr Jonathan McAleese, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Belfast City Hospital

 

Dr Sophie Haney, Consultant Medical Oncologist, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

Dr Anna Gajewska, Associate Specialist, Palliative Medicine,  Oncology Directorate

Poole Hospitals FT
Dr Judith Cave, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Southampton General Hospital
Dr Luke Nolan, consultant medical oncologist, University Hospital, Southampton
Dr Yvette Drew, Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Medical Oncologist, Newcastle University and Northern Centre for Cancer Care

Dr Syed Zubair, Consultant Medical Oncologist, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

Dr Maxine Flubacher, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Poole Hospital

Dr Joe Davies, Consultant Oncologist, Dorset Cancer Centre, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Shahid Iqbal, Clinical Oncologist, Newcastle

Dr Nick Wadd, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

Dr Sheela Rao, Consultant Medical Oncologist, GI Unit, The Royal Marsden Foundation Trust, London

Dr Martin Eatock, Medical Director, Northern Ireland Cancer Network

Dr DebashisSarker, Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Medical Oncology

Dr Joanne Hornbuckle, Consultant and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Medical Oncology, Sheffield

Dr Jon Wadsley, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Clinical Lead for Division 1 (Cancer) Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Research Network, Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield

Dr Julia McBride, Specialty Doctor Oncology, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

Dr Simon Pledge, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield

Dr Joanne Lewis, Consultant Oncologist, Lead Neuro-science MDT and Lead Network Research CNS Tumours, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Newcastle

Dr Rhona McMenemin, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Newcastle

Dr Joanne Parkinson, Associate Specialist Oncology, Poole Hospital Foundation Trust

Dr Mary Comisky, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Newcastle

Dr Olly Donelly, Clinical Lecturer in Clinical Oncology, St James's Institute of Oncology & Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology

Dr Rachel Cooper, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds

Dr David Bottomley, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, St James’ University Hospital, Leeds

Dr Fiona Roberts, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, St James’ University Hospital, Leeds

Dr Ganesh Radhakrishna, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, St James’ University Hospital, Leeds

Dr Joji Joseph, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Lead Clinician, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Katy Clarke, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, St James’ University Hospital, Leeds

Dr Chris Fosker, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer, St James’ University Hospital, Leeds

Dr Peter Dickinson, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, St James’ University Hospital, Leeds

Dr Bojidar Goranov, Oncologist, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Newcastle

Dr Kate Sumpter, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Newcastle

Dr Christopher Jones, Consultant Medical Oncologist & Carcinoma of Unknown Primary Lead, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Newcastle

Dr Caroline Lee, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Mark Teo, National Institute Health Research, Academic Clinical Lecturer in Clinical Oncology, Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology, St James’ University Hospital, Leeds

Dr Pooja Jain, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, St James’ University Hospital, Leeds

Dr Martin Robinson, Reader and Honorary Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Academic Unit of Clinical Oncology (Cancer Clinical Trials Centre) , Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield

Dr Niladri Ghosal, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl

Dr Emma Dugdale, Locum Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Sir Robert Ogden Centre, Harrogate District Hospital

Dr Nicola Cresti, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Nazia Mohammed, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Glasgow

Dr Paula Mulvenna, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Chief Investigator QUARTZ Trial, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS FT

Dr Kate Cardale, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Dr Katie Spencer, Specialist Registrar in Clinical Oncology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Dr Maria Marples, Consultant/Honarary Senior Lecturer in Medical Oncology, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds

Dr Vanessa Gill, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Clinical Oncology, St James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds

Dr Michelle Kwok-Williams, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, St James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds

Dr Emma Thomas, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, St James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds

Dr Kathleen S. Dunn, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield

Dr Georgina Gerrard, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, St James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds

Dr Sreedevi Kumar, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, St James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds

 

 

 

 

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