Who we are
Empower: Access to Medicine has led the patient charge to see vital reform to clinical trials, medical innovation and the rights of patients to access the drugs and treatments they need. Empower is now taking on a new important challenge in the health debate – using the data at the disposal of the NHS to produce more effective medicines and better outcomes for patients at all levels of the NHS, from Primary to Acute care.
Empower has reenergised to form Empower: Data4Health, which will drive the important debate around medical data and how it can help deliver for patients in a more digital NHS.
What do we want?
Empower wants to the see the national rollout of electronic patient health records as soon as possible, as well as the rapid advancement of work already underway in the care.data pathfinders.
It is absolutely right, indeed vital, that patient safety and individual privacy is at the heart of discussions around how our data is used, as it is after all our data; but there is no-doubt that patient data is central for empowering patients, drug development and the wider health economy.
The potential offered by Personalised Medicines and Genomic Diagnostics to significantly improve patient outcomes could dramatically accelerate the whole system. Indeed the Science and Technology Select Committee recently reported that the value of ‘big data’ to the health sector will already equate £14.4bn by 2017. In fact, consultants have found that efficiency savings of between £16bn and £66bn a year could be generated in the NHS if data was deployed properly.
However, that requires our health system to modernise, digitise and reform in order to collect, collate and utilise our health data in the right way and for the right reasons.
How do we do it?
First and foremost, we put patients front and centre of this process. We need to retain the crucial focus on empowering patients, policy makers, academics and the pharmaceutical industry and use health data to speed up the delivery of life-saving and life-enhancing treatments.
Empower: Data4Health will press the Government to see health data reforms through the legislative process as well as implementing the recommendations of the Accelerated Access Review. We will forge a coalition of patients, charities, clinicians and industry to ensure that reforms have patients’ needs and rights at their heart. We will also continue to hold the system to account where it is not serving patients’ best interests.
The use of health data has to be central to the solution for our nation’s health challenges. Empower: Data4Health will fight to ensure the health system is no longer allowed to ignore this by building a compelling case and demand for change.