Individual Patient Treatment Requests

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 8th May 2013.

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Photo of Alex Neil Alex Neil Scottish National Party

I met Mr and Mrs Glasswell some time ago and I fully appreciate the difficulties that the family are now facing. Clearly, one of the reasons why we set up the reviews in the first place was the degree of public dissatisfaction with the current process in a number of cases.

We now have the reports from Professor Swainson and from Professor Routledge, which we discussed at the Health and Sport Committee meeting yesterday. The committee will produce its report and recommendations—hopefully before the summer recess. The recommendations—particularly Professor Swainson’s in the case of IPTRs—should go a long way towards assuaging the concerns of families who might find themselves in a similar situation to the Glasswell family in the future.

Our intention is that clinicians—and, importantly, not politicians—should take the decisions. When clinicians cannot support an IPTR, there should be a proper explanation of the clinical reasons why the application has been unsuccessful.

I fully appreciate that many members have constituents who are in a similar situation. We will wait for the committee’s recommendations and I hope that, once we implement the recommendations, we will have a more robust system that will be able to deal with such a delicate situation more sensitively in the future.