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March Update: Health and Pharmaceuticals

2 March 2018

March brings a number of key political moments, as the UK marks a year since triggering Article 50 and a year to go until the formal Brexit date.

Crunch time has arrived over the nation's future trading relationship with the bloc, while internal tensions within the Conservative Party and repositioning on the part of its opponents threaten the Prime Minister's hold on power.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Philip Hammond is due to deliver his very first Spring Statement, a new-format financial update that will set the agenda for tax and spending reforms to come.

Here, Daniel Shaw-Stewart, DeHavilland's Monitoring Consultant for Health and Pharmaceuticals policy, gives you the lowdown on what to watch out for this March.

What's on the agenda this month

by Daniel Shaw-Stewart, Monitoring Consultant

As the Department of Health and Social Care looks settled following its absorption of Social Care into its remit, a number of health-related Public Bills are still in the waiting blocks.  The Health and Social Care (National Data Guardian) Bill has yet to be allocated a date for its Commons Committee Stage. Additionally, the Healthcare (Local Accountability) Bill is not scheduled to have its Second Reading until summer this year.

That being said, Homelessness (End of Life Care) Bill is set to have its Second Reading on the floor of the Commons on 16 March. The Bill is intended make provision about end of life care and support for homeless people with terminal illnesses, including through the provision of housing.

In addition, Conservative MP Robert Halfon’s Hospital Car Parking Charges (Abolition) Bill could have a contentious passage through Parliament. The Bill aims to prohibit charging for car parking at NHS hospitals for patients, staff and visitors.

Meanwhile, NHS England is holding a public consultation on reducing prescribing of over-the-counter medicines for 33 minor, short-term health concerns. The intention is to produce a consistent, national framework for CCGs to use. The consultation mirrors the Government's wider agenda of reducing the public’s reliance on medicines for short-term health conditions, and deterring an increasing epidemic of over-prescribing.

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Daniel Shaw-Stewart, Monitoring Consultant
Daniel Shaw-Stewart
Monitoring Consultant

Daniel serves as Monitoring Consultant for DeHavilland's UK Health clients. He has previously worked at MHP Communications in its Corporate Affairs Team, and at the BBC during the 2015 General Election as a Production Assistant. He read History and Politics at Goldsmiths, University of London.