Press release

Wellcome Trust encourages urgent review of medical innovation in the NHS

The Wellcome Trust is working with the Government Office of Life Sciences to take forward a review that aims to help new medicines and technologies be more quickly and efficiently adopted by the NHS to benefit patients.

The Innovative Medicines and Medical Technology Review was established to identify the barriers to translating medical innovation into new drugs, treatment devices and diagnostics. The Review will develop recommendations to ensure that promising medical research, such as that funded by the Wellcome Trust, quickly makes its way into hospitals and clinics where it can improve patient health.

Today, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced Sir Hugh Taylor as the Chair of the Review. Sir Hugh is currently Chair of Guy’s and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. He will be supported by an expert advisory group headed by Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University.

The Review has been endorsed by the three main political parties to ensure that the findings are given the attention they merit, whatever the composition of the next government.

The Wellcome Trust will work with the Review team to enable research and engagement with stakeholder communities.

Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said: "Giving patients timely access to new medicines and medical technologies is at the heart of a successful healthcare system. However, medical innovation in the UK, much of which is funded by the Wellcome Trust, is often not realising its full potential to improve health. This review is an important step towards ensuring that patients can benefit as quickly as possible from new discoveries, and we are glad that the government, with strong cross-party support, is continuing to take it forward."

Sir Hugh Taylor, Chair of the Review, said: "NHS patients and their families deserve the quickest access possible to cost-effective new medical innovations, so it is a real privilege to be asked to lead this important review. By looking across the whole healthcare system I hope that we will be able to identify ways in which the latest advances in medicines and technologies can get from the lab to patients as quickly and safely as possible. This is a vital piece of work which has the potential to have a positive impact not only on the NHS and patients but also our world-leading science and research base."

Terms of reference for the Review are available on the Office for Life Sciences website.