James Morris – 2022 Statement on the Patient Safety Commissioner for England

The statement made by James Morris, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in the House of Commons on 12 July 2022.

In July 2021, the Government published their formal response to the recommendations by the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety review led by Baroness Cumberlege setting out an ambitious programme of change. As part of our response, we committed to appoint a Patient Safety Commissioner with a remit covering medicines and medical devices.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Henrietta Hughes OBE FRCGP SFFMLM as the first ever Patient Safety Commissioner for England. This appointment was made following an open competition, in line with the Governance Code for Public Appointments, and following a pre-appointment scrutiny hearing with the Health and Social Care Committee. Dr Hughes will continue working as a GP and remain Chair of Childhood First.

The First Do No Harm report, led by Baroness Cumberlege highlighted the need to avoid harm and protect patients. The Patient Safety Commissioner will add to and enhance existing work to improve patient safety in relation to medicines and medical devices by being a champion for patients and helping us to learn more about what we can do to put patients first. The Commissioner’s core duties are to promote the safety of patients, and promote the importance of the views of patients and other members of the public. The Commissioner will act independently, and a memorandum of understanding will be agreed to ensure the Commissioner’s independence is safeguarded.