New All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Diagnostics launched
A new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Diagnostics was formally launched in Parliament on 8 February 2023. The inaugural meeting, a necessary parliamentary procedure to legitimise the Group, took place in Portcullis House.
Maggie Throup MP was elected uncontested as Chair, with Lord Bethell, Elliot Colburn MP, Grahame Morris MP, Jim Shannon MP, Sir Oliver Heald MP, Tim Farron MP, and Mary Robinson MP being elected as Vice-Chairs.
Maggie Throup has a background in medical diagnostics (specialising in haematology) and was a junior health minister in Jan 2018 – Sept 2019 and Sept 2021 – Sept 2022. Lord Bethell was a former minister for technology, innovation and life sciences between 2020-2021. Jim Shannon is the health spokesperson for the DUP, whilst Elliot Colburn is Chair of the APPG for Cancer, providing potential opportunities to collaborate.
During the inaugural meeting, Presidents of the Royal College of Pathologists and Royal College of Radiologists gave an update and representatives from Bowel Cancer UK and Cancer Research UK shared expert evidence.
The Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) programme was discussed – with a further examination of the role CDCs planned, although the process and output of this is still to be decided in line with available resource.
The APPG secretariat will be producing an activity plan for the year ahead, which will be shared with Advisory Group member organisations including IPEM in the coming weeks. Immediate next steps for the APPG Vice Chairs include applying for debates in Westminster Hall with developments to be shared as they are confirmed.