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BHTA launches 2023 Manifesto at parliamentary reception calling for improved UK health and social care

On 21 November 2023, the British Healthcare Trades Association held a parliamentary reception in the Churchill Room, at the House of Commons. The event marked the launch of the BHTA 2023 Manifesto, calling on the government to work with industry to improve health and social care across the UK.

The event brought together MPs and Peers, as well as BHTA members and industry representatives, to discuss UK healthcare, current barriers and ways these can be overcome.  

In the 2023 Manifesto, BHTA calls for collaboration among stakeholders, policymakers, healthcare professionals and industry to improve healthcare in the UK.

The manifesto centers on 5 key asks that BHTA believes require government attention:

Release NHS Capacity – Industry Partnership for Effective H&SC Delivery
Government must establish and fund a National Stakeholder Forum to identify policies, practices, and processes that drive effective H&SC delivery at scale.

Regulate for Safe, Effective UK Medical Devices
Government must deliver a world-leading medical device regime; this can only be achieved via opensource regulation – engaging meaningfully with stakeholders to develop UK laws, regulations, and market-access routes.

Rethink Innovation Adoption & Procurement
For Innovation Adoption, we call on Government to create – in partnership with industry – a roadmap, timeline, and toolkit to boost H&SC innovation adoption.

For Procurement, Government must increase investment in current NHSE/industry partnership – led by NHSE Central Commercial Function (NHS CCF) – to create a suite of mutually-agreed policies, practices, and toolkits based on ValueBased Procurement principles.

Regularise Sustainability & Social Value
Government must empower NHSE CCF – with budget, resource, and authority – to drive consistency in sustainability and social value across departments and commissioning bodies.

Reduce Export Barriers
In close partnership with industry, Government should ensure clear, consistent application of the 2025 UK Border Strategy, UK Export Strategy, and UK Single-Trade Window.

To read the full manifesto click here, to read the 5 Rs click here.   

To demonstrate the medical products that are being affected by current regulations, BHTA members brought several products to showcase to MPs. These included (left to right below) furniture raisers from Gordon Ellis & Co, the SEM Scanner from Arjo, the UroShield Catheter from Peak Medical and an AED cabinet and defibrillator from Wel Medical.   

The afternoon event was opened by a welcome from Mark Eastwood MP, who sponsored the reception. Eastwood previously worked for a company providing medical furniture and equipment to the NHS, and therefore has a keen interest in the work members of the BHTA do.

David Stockdale, BHTA CEO, extended the welcome and introduced each of the key speakers to the podium.  

The first speaker of the day was Preet Gill M.P., Shadow Minister for Primary Care and Public Health. Gill affirmed that the Labour party is committed to developing a comprehensive innovation and adoption strategy for the NHS. She said this can only be achieved by government working with industry, patients, and ICSs.

William Lee, Head of Policy at BHTA, was the next speaker. Lee officially launched the 2023 Manifesto to the room, taking the attendees through the five asks of government above. He labelled these the “5 R’s” and gave a summary and context as to why BHTA had focussed on these asks. He encouraged the room to take a printed copy, analyse and discuss.

The third speaker of the day was Preeya Bailie, Director of Procurement Transformation and Commercial Delivery at NHS England. Bailie covered how the NHS plans to transform over the next year, allowing easier access for industry and promoting adoption of innovation. She spoke about “one door access”, with one clear, well-defined route into the NHS Procurement process.

And finally, Lord Nick Markham CBE gave the final address of the day, where he looked forward to the future of UK health and social care, and at how government and industry can work together to improve healthcare for all. He spoke about removing barriers to innovation and undergoing a current project to digitalise NHS patient health records, which is already at 86%.  

David Stockdale once again thanked the room and closed the event.