27 Mims Davies debates involving the Department of Health and Social Care

Ambulance Pressures

Mims Davies Excerpts
Monday 18th July 2022

(1 year, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Steve Barclay Portrait Steve Barclay
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The principle of subsidiarity is that, as part of the extreme heat plans, local trusts make decisions locally on targeting resource, whether that has an impact on outpatients or other services, to meet the increased pressure. The hon. Lady is absolutely right that there is significant increased pressure, as we see in the call volumes coming in to 999 and 111. Part of the contingency plans that are in place is to surge resource, but it is also partly about being clear where risk best sits. At the heart of the letter from NHS medical director Stephen Powis on Friday was the importance of not pushing risk out into the community where it is an unmet need, or into the ambulance, where it is best that patients are, but having that risk more on the ward, where a patient is known and can receive care. Local contingency plans are in place to allocate resource to meet that.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Mid Sussex) (Con)
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I pay tribute to all my Mid Sussex constituents on the frontline of all our emergency services in this extreme heat. They are absolutely continuing their heroic efforts, whether on the NHS backlog, managing discharges, as we have heard, or managing the impact of covid. Following recent media reports, will the Secretary of State note the constraints in certain ambulances, which my constituents have also raised, with cabs being too small and seatbelt use impacted for those over 6 feet tall? The impact of those new ambulances is on the agenda at a meeting for West Sussex MPs with SECAmb—South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust—this Friday.

Steve Barclay Portrait Steve Barclay
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First, I am happy to join my hon. Friend in paying tribute to the work of the local staff in her ambulance trust. She raises an important point about the fleet, and I was very interested in this issue four years ago when I was ambulance trust Minister and discovered that there were, I think, 32 different types of ambulance. When I was out with crews over the past fortnight, one of the issues we discussed was the merits of tailgates so that people are not suffering work absence and musculoskeletal injuries because they are trying to push heavy loads on to an ambulance. I am interested in exploring with her and colleagues how we get the right standardisation and the right fleet in place. Indeed, we have been targeting additional money to support that work.

Oral Answers to Questions

Mims Davies Excerpts
Tuesday 19th December 2017

(6 years, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Steve Brine Portrait Steve Brine
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I know this is a subject about which the hon. Lady cares greatly. I would be very happy to meet her and to bring together the people I work with from Public Health England to see how we can make the best of this new leaflet and ensure it is the best and most important Christmas present.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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I welcome the Government’s focus on reducing stillbirths, and I welcome the maternity safety strategy. I particularly welcome this focus on group B strep. Will the Minister outline how he is working locally with hospitals such as Southampton to make sure they are aware of this new focus?

Steve Brine Portrait Steve Brine
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I thank my parliamentary neighbour for that question. Public Health England is one of the most effective arm’s length bodies with which we work in government, and it will be working with commissioners and trusts across our country to make sure that this new information is out there with pregnant mums and the most at-risk groups. Members of Parliament have an important role to play with local commissioners and trusts, and I know my hon. Friend will play her part in that.

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Jeremy Hunt Portrait Mr Hunt
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I thank the hon. Gentleman for his Christmas cheer. Let me just say to him that if that were the Government’s intention, we would not have found an extra £2.8 billion for the NHS in the Budget, including £1.95 million for Chesterfield Hospital, which will benefit his own constituents.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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Some 50% of young people do not use a condom with a new partner and one in 10 young adults never uses one, which means the chance of an unwanted pregnancy or, indeed, a sexually transmitted disease. Please will the Department do something to ensure that people are aware of the benefits of condoms?

Steve Brine Portrait Steve Brine
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Men may not be very good at wrapping at this time of year, but they need to get this one right. I welcome Public Health England’s “protect against STIs” campaign, which was launched last week and aims to reduce rates among 16 to 24-year-olds, and I encourage young people having fun this Christmas to do so sensibly.

Hormone Pregnancy Tests

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 14th December 2017

(6 years, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mike Penning Portrait Sir Mike Penning
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I will give way to my hon. Friend and then I will make some progress.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank my right hon. Friend for giving way. I must acknowledge my constituent, Charlotte, and her family, who are here on behalf of her brother, Stephen, who has been greatly affected by this drug. One of the biggest issues is the way in which the drug was handed out with absolutely no discussion of the risks.

Jackie lost her baby, Louisa, 19 years later—in 1977. At that time, the product had been on the market for two years with Government warnings, but still GPs did not point that out to patients. There is a lot of evidence here, so why is it not in the report?

Mike Penning Portrait Sir Mike Penning
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I completely agree with my hon. Friend. One thing that has surprised me is that although, on average, every single MP will have a victim of Primodos in their constituency, many of the victims think that what happened was their fault and that they are on their own. In the fantastic documentary on Sky, people came forward to say, “I have been affected by this, but I thought that I was on my own. I thought that I was the only one.”

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Yasmin Qureshi Portrait Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East) (Lab)
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Six years ago, I met my constituent Nichola Williams, who shared with me her struggle with her health over her lifetime. Her mother had been prescribed Primodos. From there, I carried out my research, searching for answers and going through thousands and thousands of pages of documents.

One document was a 1969 study by a Dr Norman Dean, who worked with the Royal College of General Practitioners. He found that when women used this hormone pregnancy test, there was a higher incidence of malformed babies, miscarriages, stillbirths and infant deaths. He found the findings so alarming that he wrote to the manufacturers advising them that Primodos should be withdrawn. However, it took another eight years for it to be finally taken off the market, unlike in Norway and Sweden, which apparently acted very swiftly.

In the last six years, I have exchanged countless letters with Ministers and Department of Health officials, working alongside Jason Farrell from Sky News, who has dedicated an enormous amount of time to exposing this issue, and Marie Lyon, the chair of the victims association, who has tirelessly campaigned for justice. I have raised this matter on the Floor of the House many times. I raised it with the Prime Minister several weeks ago, and I also met her predecessor to discuss it.

In 2014, after a debate in this Chamber, we were informed by the then Minister that an inquiry would be carried out, and we were very excited about that. We were promised that the inquiry would be fair, open and transparent, would have the trust and confidence of all the victims and would look at all evidence. Instead, we found that some experts on the panel had conflicts of interest and close ties with the manufacturer, which is now Bayer.

The victims who were invited to give evidence were treated appallingly and were given a very short period—I think it was two hours—to explain what had happened to them. Ms Lyon, who had been appointed as an observer to the panel, was forced to sign a gagging clause, which meant she could not raise with us any of the concerns she had about how the inquiry was going.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank the hon. Lady for mentioning the interest our Prime Minister has shown. She met Conservative Members recently, and she is watching with interest. However, the issue I would like to reiterate on behalf of my constituents and many other MPs is the treatment of the campaigners during this process. We had unacceptable timescales, and some of these people were caring for very ill children. The treatment of the campaigners, at the very least, needs some kind of apology.

Yasmin Qureshi Portrait Yasmin Qureshi
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I entirely agree with the hon. Lady on this matter.

The inquiry was intended to look at a possible association, not a causal link. That is very important because a different burden of proof is required for a possible association as opposed to a causal link. That was changed, and nobody can tell us who gave the authorisation to do that. The EWG was asked to look at regulatory failures. There are thousands of documents from archives in Berlin and Kew that show that there was a link between the deformities and these drugs. The Committee on Safety of Medicines looked at these documents and decided not to do anything with them. Why was that? When the report came out, the initial draft said that it was impossible to reach a definitive conclusion. However, the final document was changed to say that it could reach that conclusion. When the chair of the inquiry was asked why this happened—by Jason Farrell, by me and by other colleagues in a recent discussion—she said that the Commission on Human Medicines looked at the documents very thoroughly and told the panel that

“we should strengthen the wording and put a greater clarity on it.”

It is unacceptable for the commission to have asked the panel to change its conclusion.

When I raised the report with the Prime Minister recently, one of the reasons she said that there was confidence in it was that Nick Dobrik had said that he endorsed it. However, he has said:

“I was very angry when I was informed that my name was used to endorse the conclusions of this report.”

Is the Minister aware that the EWG refused to look at the most up-to-date study on Primodos conducted this year by Dr Neil Vergesson? It said that the study had not been peer-reviewed, yet it looked at 44 other non-peer-reviewed studies, some of which had been produced by the manufacturer itself, Schering. Dr Vergesson found that Primodos deformed fish embryos, and if given in high doses actually killed them. Dr Dean apparently carried out a study and wrote to Schering telling it what his findings were. He also informed the Royal College of General Practitioners about this. That study has also been ignored, and there is no record of it at all. We know that it exists only because a letter was found showing that he had discussed this matter and told all the parties concerned what was going on, but again nothing happened.

The man in charge of the Committee on Safety of Medicines—its chief scientist, Dr Inman—also conducted a study and found that there was an adverse reaction. Instead of dealing with the issue, he contacted the manufacturer and told them to

“take measures to avoid medico-legal challenges.”

Documents from Berlin show that he later said that the documents on which he based his investigation were going to be destroyed. He made that admission at a meeting with a Schering scientist in Bermuda. A Dr Greenberg carried out a study that showed a significant twofold increase in risk of malformed babies being born to women who took this drug. Eventually, in 1977, the Committee on Safety of Medicines wrote to doctors saying that the drug should stop being given. It said that “the association is confirmed” between Primodos and deformities. It was “confirmed”, unequivocally—and that was in 1977.

Why does the EWG seem to have disregarded all these studies, not to have bothered to take any interest in what was happening and failed to look at the regulatory failures? It is vital that further scientific research is carried out not only to establish an association, but because the EWG report says that the component parts of Primodos are currently safe to be used. That is very worrying, because it is being used in many contraceptive pills. Studies and independent research should be carried out on this, because we might find that even though the drug is being used, it might be harmful to women, and we could prevent further problems from occurring. I am asking for an independent inquiry into the regulatory failures. We must put the families first.

Maternity Safety Strategy

Mims Davies Excerpts
Tuesday 28th November 2017

(6 years, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Jeremy Hunt Portrait Mr Hunt
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I absolutely undertake to look into that case and ensure a proper investigation into what is happening. The hon. Gentleman is right; in the end, we need to be much more open about this data, so I commend the trust for sharing the data publicly. Until we access such data, we will not know where the issues are that we need to solve.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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With this vital new focus on safer births, will there be an opportunity to look at group B strep and other issues that if undetected in the later stages of pregnancy can result in baby loss?

Jeremy Hunt Portrait Mr Hunt
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I am very happy to undertake to do that.

Hormone Pregnancy Tests

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 16th November 2017

(6 years, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Urgent Questions are proposed each morning by backbench MPs, and up to two may be selected each day by the Speaker. Chosen Urgent Questions are announced 30 minutes before Parliament sits each day.

Each Urgent Question requires a Government Minister to give a response on the debate topic.

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Steve Brine Portrait Steve Brine
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Yes, of course we all want to get to the correct answers. Science and clinical practice have moved on significantly since the 1970s. As the hon. Gentleman knows, there have been far-reaching advances in the regulation of medicines. One of the reasons that the report has been delayed is that it was felt that it needed to contain far more human-speak, rather than official-speak. That is why I said that Ministers now had confidence in the report and the review process and that we are now going to focus on implementing the report’s recommendations.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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This is simply a matter of confidence. My constituent, Charlotte Fensome, her parents and her brother Steven simply do not have confidence in this report. I trust the Minister, who I know is thoughtful about these matters and wishes that all the families and parents had had their concerns properly taken into account, but the report that was brought forward yesterday falls incredibly short when it comes to inspiring confidence. That is a great shame. I am thoroughly dissatisfied with the complete lack of transparency and with the preparation of the report. We had only 24 hours’ notice of this. Will he meet me and other members of the all-party parliamentary group, so that he can hear from the campaigners and truly listen to their concerns?

Steve Brine Portrait Steve Brine
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I take the comments of my hon. Friend and parliamentary neighbour on board. As I have already said, my hon. Friend Lord O’Shaughnessy is meeting the all-party group on 6 December, and I am sure that she will be more than welcome to attend that meeting.

Valproate and Foetal Anticonvulsant Syndrome

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 19th October 2017

(6 years, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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I thank the right hon. Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb) for securing this important debate and the Backbench Business Committee for allowing us time in the main Chamber to consider this issue. I also pay tribute to campaigners who have done so much to raise it.

As one who works closely with constituents so gravely affected by the use of Primodos as a pregnancy test, I recognise the huge importance of airing such concerns on behalf of our constituents as widely as possible so that all can hear. There is so much work to do on Primodos, and I hope to bring those concerns to the Prime Minister shortly. As the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on women in Parliament and a former member of the Women and Equalities Committee, I want to take the time today to note, along with colleagues, that many Backbench Business and Westminster Hall debates seem to focus on women’s health issues: Valproate, Primodos, vaginal mesh. It is great to see such an issue raised in the main Chamber.

Philippa Whitford Portrait Dr Whitford
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I come back to the point I made earlier. We seem to see these themes. Rather than having multiple separate inquiries, should we consider issues such as Primodos and valproate together? Common learnings need to come out of them.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I absolutely agree. I hope to pull that issue together as I go on with my remarks. It is really important that we raise the case of sodium valproate, which, as we have heard, is still in use. All of these issues need to be looked at.

Common to this debate—and in all such cases, including Primodos—are the hidden, missing and lost documents, along with a delay in education and information. That was raised again today by the right hon. Member for North Norfolk. I pay tribute to Sky News for its exposés on valproate and Primodos, because this really matters to the families affected.

Nusrat Ghani Portrait Ms Nusrat Ghani (Wealden) (Con)
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My hon. Friend raises a valid point about media coverage. I congratulate right hon. and hon. Members on raising the issue in the Chamber today, but I am concerned that it might make some women nervous about taking medication if they are pregnant, or are considering whether they would like to become pregnant and are on medication. Surely one of the messages we want to send out today is, “Please consult your doctor and do not respond to everything you read in the press if you are taking epilepsy medication.”

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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I thank my hon. Friend for her intervention. Many of us have constituents, friends or family who are affected by epilepsy, which, in itself, is very serious, or by bipolar disorder. Appropriate use remains very important. For the vast majority of patients, treatment can be effective and useful if it is done right—if managed, if educated and if understood. The argument, therefore, should not be about ceasing use, but about telling the truth and looking at appropriate use during pregnancy. Men use the drug too, so we need to take a balanced approach and reflect all situations.

Norman Lamb Portrait Norman Lamb
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The hon. Lady is making really good points. I totally agree with her that the drug is appropriate for most people. I just want the guidance to be followed. The guidance is clear that for women of childbearing age it should not be used unless there is no alternative. We just need to stick to that guidance and make sure it is implemented everywhere.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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Absolutely. Speaking about this issue in this Chamber will empower our women constituents, before and during pregnancy, so they can be informed and make the right choices. That is the outcome we should all be hoping for.

Similar issues were raised yesterday during a debate in Westminster Hall on mesh implants. New mothers in particular had taken the advice they were given without hesitation. A woman’s first pregnancy can be an unsettling time with all the changes their body goes through. I would imagine that for people suffering from epilepsy or bipolar disorder that time is even more nerve wracking. It is absolutely right that we are measured when we talk about these issues.

It is important that our specialists ensure that women are given the correct and proper guidance. Patients need knowledge and they need it more than anyone. They live with the consequences if things go wrong and they will always look back on their decisions. If they have not been given the right information, how can they truly know they have made the right decision for themselves and their family? Siblings are often impacted as well.

The Government and MPs have a really important role to play in raising awareness of medical issues during pregnancy, including those concerning sodium valproate. I recognise the efforts that have been made, with labelling on packages. I am sure the Minister will agree, however, that more needs to be done. This drug, introduced in 1974, has been crucial, but support for families affected is also crucial. I welcome the fact that young people who have been affected are to be included in the new framework for health and social care for children and young people. It has been a real battle, but clinical commissioning groups and local authorities are getting to grips with it. It is really important that they receive support on a local level. I welcome the Minister’s forthcoming meeting with the all-party group, and I know that Ministers are taking this matter seriously, but I ask the Department for assurances on similar health issues affecting women, such as those relating to Primodos and mesh implants. We have moved to an incredible place on blood contamination—some of my constituents were affected by that—and constituents have written asking me to raise this issue too. We want more action, and there is a common denominator.

Teresa Pearce Portrait Teresa Pearce
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Two years ago, I asked the Minister to extend the Primodos inquiry to include valproate, but my request was declined because, I was told, the two issues were very different, yet they seem to be quite similar. Does the hon. Lady think that that was a missed opportunity?

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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As a woman in Parliament, I think that any opportunity not taken to raise women’s issues is a missed opportunity, and I know the Minister is listening intently.

The hon. Member for Newport West (Paul Flynn) raised a point about the seemingly cosy relationship the MHRA has with the drugs companies, when it suits it, and sometimes the laissez-faire attitude it adopts, when it suits it. It is incomprehensible that greater independence cannot be injected into this area. We need openness and reform. I would like the Minister to take a look at the position in France and consider setting aside some funding for compensation for medical accidents.

Few in the Chamber can imagine the hardship, guilt and heartbreak of the impact of taking a simple prescription drug during pregnancy and finding out later that it might have had an effect on one’s child. I am lucky to have two healthy beautiful daughters. We are all at the mercy of decisions we take during our pregnancy and the professional guidance we receive. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to raise awareness among people in this situation, but there are those not lucky enough to be sufficiently informed. This is an important debate, therefore, and I urge the Department to work with the MHRA to give patients full confidence in it on all pregnancy matters.

Tobacco Control Plan

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 19th October 2017

(6 years, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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It is a pleasure to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Robert Courts). I also congratulate the right hon. Member for Rother Valley (Sir Kevin Barron) on bringing this debate to the main Chamber, on enabling an important conversation about the coming of smoke-free Britain, and on the long-term work he has done on this issue. I welcome my neighbour, the public health Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Winchester (Steve Brine); I applaud his progress and focus on this issue and encourage him to be as ambitious as possible.

Many colleagues will be aware that I am passionate about trying to keep fit and healthy, although serving in the House precludes much of that, and about working to reduce heart conditions among people of all ages. It should come as no surprise that I very much welcome the Government’s new tobacco control plan. I chair the all-party parliamentary group on running—please join. I also actively support Cardiac Risk in the Young and belong to the all-party parliamentary group on arrhythmias. I could not be more passionate about these issues. Smoking claims more than 200 lives per day in England. Think of how many lives we are losing from preventable causes. We have also heard about the £11 billion cost to the economy.

Last November, I held the parliamentary reception for carers’ rights day and I shall do the same next week; the long-term impact of this issue really concerns me. Like many Members, I am not here to lecture; we are all sympathetic and we have been measured in our comments. I believe in choice, but more importantly in education and understanding the real impact on families and our NHS. We simply know that smoke-free is best.

I know first hand what the addiction can do to long-term health and quality of life. As we have heard today, we simply would not allow a smoking culture to start growing today so we cannot ignore the challenge it has left us. Smoking has blighted my life—sadly, it can blight relationships and families all too often. Like many, my mum became a smoker in the late ’50s to stay slim and attractive and avoid putting on weight. It was fashionable, and the reality of its impact on health was simply never understood. She could never, ever give up: it was the first, the last, the everything—an addiction and a habit. She always said, “I wouldn’t know what to do with my hands; I’ve tried knitting!”

E-cigarettes did help, but we were unclear at the time whether they were better or worse. There was great help from GPs, including hypnosis, gum, tablets, lozenges, wands—you name it; it did not work. My dad smoked heavily throughout his life, although to be honest he enjoyed all the so-called good stuff as well. But it all resulted in my being a sandwich carer, with young children and older parents on whose health smoking had taken its toll. Both my parents died in their early 70s from smoking-related heart issues—both before my 40th birthday, and both before I came to this place. They did not have a chance to see their grandchildren grow up, as happens in many families as a result of smoking.

Alongside our transformative success on smoking in public places is further good news: back in October 2015, smoking in cars with children was banned and that was also transformative. But there is also bad news—how often do we see people in work vehicles flouting smoking rules? Air pollution is having a growing impact on our mindset. We need to make sure that people are doing what is safe at work. Earlier this week, I was at a British Lung Foundation event highlighting its Breathe Easy campaign, which I applaud.

The 2011 and 2015 tobacco control plans had those successes and should be applauded—adult smoking rates are down almost 5% over that period—but we must continue to be bold. I am so pleased about the Government’s new plan. As we heard from my hon. Friend the Member for Chippenham (Michelle Donelan), action is essential: just saying that we have made some progress is not good enough.

By 2022, the Government expect to reduce the smoking rate to 12% or less, reduce the prevalence of smoking in pregnancy by almost half, and permit innovative technologies. We all know about vape shops and the prevalence of vaping on our high streets. It cannot be ignored and we must research it. I do not want, 20 or 30 years down the road, to have on our hands the results of thinking it was the new messiah when it was not. However, it may be, so let us do the research.

As a strong supporter of and believer in the excellent work of the British Heart Foundation, including in my constituency, I thank it for all it does. Public Health England tells me that since 2014 there are still about 20,000 smokers in Eastleigh. I welcome the previous Chancellor’s announcement of £2 million for the British Heart Foundation for the replacement of local defibrillators. I would like the Government to help with work on an app, so we know where those defibrillators are. The former Chancellor made the announcement because his constituent, Fabrice Muamba, survived only because of a defibrillator. Let us legislate to have them on planes as well—they cost about £700. My constituents Graham and Anne Hunter have seen the benefits of defibrillators. After losing their daughter, Claire Reed, they would absolutely welcome both the app and the defibrillators. It was as a result of them talking to the Chancellor that the £2 million was provided.

I welcome the Government’s plans to seek to reduce smoking among those with mental health conditions. We know that the most deprived and challenged will always be the most dependent. Those in a lower paid job are, sadly, still more likely to smoke or, more importantly, to stay a smoker. I stress to the Minister the importance of tackling the health inequality of this particular group in driving the next phase forward.

I congratulate the Government on their bold vision for a smoke-free generation and I look forward to further progress. All the lives we can save, and all the resources we can save, are absolutely worth it.

Surgical Mesh Implants

Mims Davies Excerpts
Wednesday 18th October 2017

(6 years, 6 months ago)

Westminster Hall
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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I sincerely congratulate the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle (Emma Hardy) on securing this debate, and it is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Owen.

I, too, have applied for debates on this subject in the House, so this debate is welcomed by all parties. Like other colleagues, I am pleased that this issue is being discussed so openly, and it is absolutely vital that Ministers listen to the UK-wide concerns that are being raised. I have heard from Eastleigh constituents who have shared simply horrific accounts of the long-term difficulties that they have experienced as a result of having had a mesh implant, so I am very pleased to contribute to this debate.

I was also contacted via Facebook by a long-term friend who wanted to tell me her story after having her third child, and to link me into the Sling the Mesh group, which, as we know, is an ever-growing group, with more than 3,500 women involved with it. After an operation three weeks earlier, my friend had to self-catheterise. It was simply hideous. She said:

“It would seem that health professionals do not want to quite hear the truth or tell the truth about the complications of mesh or the TVTO surgery”,

which she had had. She felt that because the condition was so embarrassing, it was just being under-reported.

After a woman has had a baby, especially her first, she always listens to the professionals. Pain and suffering after a birth are not unusual, but two or three years after giving birth many women are in pain, with incontinence, with an impact on family life, with no sex life, and with no opportunity to play sport or to enjoy time with their children down at the park, or to enjoy time as a family and have time with their partner. Too many women are simply being ignored, post-pregnancy and through the long-term impact, as we have heard. GPs seemingly do not have a full understanding of this matter.

Let us be in no doubt: in some cases, but not the majority, this option is perhaps appropriate for women, but it must be carried out by trained surgeons. However, one more woman suffering in the way that many of our constituents have suffered is one woman too many. We have heard such stories today. So today I urge us to look at all those women who have been so dramatically affected by the long-term impact of trusting the advice of their surgeon. We must make sure that if anyone has a mesh implant put in, they really understand the impact.

I will give one further example that I have been informed about, which is the case of a lady in my local area who had surgical mesh implanted five years ago. Further treatment is ongoing; she has had multiple complications and operations. Her case has also been raised with me by her father, who has spelled out the heartbreak of seeing his daughter in so much pain.

I call on the Minister to ask the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to work further with the mesh working group to ensure that all those who use mesh know that it is the right treatment for them and fully understand all the issues and concerns that exist about mesh. Nobody should come away from this debate unaware of the warnings and complications. There is no doubt that if someone is suffering, mesh could be a good option for them. However, professionals should ensure that it is the right course for them.

I finish by strongly urging the Minister to act on this worrying, UK-wide concern. Let us not be afraid to end the suffering and let us be prepared to make sure that no further harm is caused by this issue. We should also be bold, because women’s health matters and family lives are simply being blighted.

Oral Answers to Questions

Mims Davies Excerpts
Tuesday 10th October 2017

(6 years, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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23. On World Mental Health Day, may I also welcome the progress the Government have made? We are doing all that we can to make changes. However, too many patients in my constituency, particularly younger patients, have to travel out of Eastleigh for the treatment they need, especially given the challenges facing Southern Health. Will the Secretary of State outline what he will be doing to right this wrong?

Jeremy Hunt Portrait Mr Hunt
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My hon. Friend is right to draw attention to the issues around Southern Health, which will have directly affected a number of her constituents. That organisation is being turned around. However, she is also right to say that too many people are travelling out of area for their treatment. We have record numbers of children’s beds commissioned, but in the end this is about the capacity of the system of trained psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists, which was why we announced the extra 21,000 posts.

Contaminated Blood

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 20th July 2017

(6 years, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Jackie Doyle-Price Portrait Jackie Doyle-Price
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We need to understand exactly what the concerns are and we will only achieve that through dialogue. I can reiterate that we are here to listen to those concerns. Now that we have decided to go ahead with the inquiry, I want to make sure that we get it right.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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May I put on record how pleased I am, for my constituents and their families, about the commitment to hold this inquiry? I thank the Minister for listening to me on this yesterday. Does she agree that it is only by listening to those most affected that we can finally get the answers that the victims and their families are seeking?

Jackie Doyle-Price Portrait Jackie Doyle-Price
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We can only gain from having dialogue. It is in that spirit that we want to have as many conversations with those people affected as possible. It is disappointing that this morning’s meeting was not attended, but I hope that, in the future, we will have some meaningful dialogue.