A new influential group of MPs – including Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish – has been formed to tackle patient safety issues for NHS workers, patients and other caregivers through the Covid pandemic and beyond.
A combination of Conservatives, Labour and DUP parliamentarians are launching their new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) today (Thursday 17th September), which is World Patient Safety Day.
In addition to Gwynne, founder members of the APPG include Julie Elliott MP (Labour), Nigel Mills MP (Conservative), Anne Marie Morris MP (Conservative), Jim Shannon MP (DUP), Ian Paisley MP (DUP) and Baroness (Fiona) Hodgson (Conservative).
The move to establish the APPG comes as the global focus on caregivers and patients continues after a major virtual conference last week. During the conference, APPG founder member Gwynne spoke movingly of his own battle with “Long Covid” to an audience including the WHO, OECD and other senior international medical professionals.
That conference resulted in a global Call to Action, which urges international organisations such as the G7 and G20 to actively promote health worker safety higher up the political agendas and was one of the many factors which led to the establishment of the APPG.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“We look forward in the coming days to supporting every one of our brave NHS heroes and the thousands of other carers right across the UK, who do such brilliant work.
“We will also work constructively with the government to find new and innovative ways to keep patients safe through the Covid pandemic and beyond.”
Founder member Julie Elliott MP, Labour, Sunderland Central:
“In this year of Covid-19, it is not enough to simply clap the herculean efforts of NHS staff. Instead, let’s use the lessons of 2020 to deliver a greater duty of care.
I look forward to the APPG championing the safety of health workers from clinical care to vital ancillary staff and demonstrating again its importance for improving patient safety in our medical centres too. NHS staff deserve nothing less.”
Founder member Anne Marie Morris MP, Conservative, Newton Abbot, said:
“Patient safety must be at the heart of our NHS and public health. Patients need to feel safe and be safe.
“The Cumberlege Report has made very clear the steps we need to take to deliver safe medicines, safe medical devices and a safe patient experience. This report has just shone a light on a tiny part of a much bigger issue.
“This group has a huge agenda to unpack all the issues and deliver very tangible change. It is a privilege to be part of it”
Founder member Jim Shannon MP, DUP, Strangford, said:
“Coronavirus has underlined again the stress that our health infrastructure is under and I am pleased to be part of this group which will focus on the priority patient safety and I look forward to working with members from across the entire House and UK to bring about information that can lead to change for good.”