Health Committee

21 July 2005
Session 2005-06 Committee welcomes Government Response to Venous Thromboembolism Recommendations

21 July 2005
Session 2005-06 Committee welcomes Government Response to Venous Thromboembolism Recommendations

The Health Select Committee welcomes a report by the Government which accepts that there are currently far too many preventable deaths from Venous Thromboembolism in hospitalised patients.

Currently VTE kills over 25,000 people a year, costs the NHS £640 million, yet is largely preventable through cheap and effective drugs.

The Government response accepts key recommendations made by the Committee in its report, published 7th March 2005.

As a result of the Secretary of State for Health has agreed to:

  • Write to all doctors and remind them of the guidance that does currently exist. 

  • Establish an impendent expert working group to assess the guidance that is available; recommend action that can be taken immediately and develop a comprehensive strategy that includes both treatment and prevention. 

  • Ask the Healthcare Commission to seek conformity with this good practice guidance and signal that it intends to include VTE as part of its annual inspection guidance. 

  • Discuss with NICE the possibility of producing separate clinical guidelines to cover groups currently excluded - medical patients and patients undergoing low-risk procedures who are themselves at high risk from VTE.

  • Look at the development of thrombosis committees with a view to mainstreaming this work into existing structures and to make recommendations on identifying appropriate resources needed to underpin their development.

Commenting, Committee Chairman Kevin Barron said:

'Currently, too many patients are running the risk of developing VTE.  I am absolutely delighted that the Government has taken on board the vast majority of the Committee's recommendations.

This is an important development both in terms of providing patients with the care they deserve, and developing best practice across the NHS.

It's also a good example of the benefits of parliamentary scrutiny. Select Committee reports can often help a Department to focus its attention on difficult issues, and I am happy to have received such a positive response.'

Note for Editors:

  1. The title of the paper is 'Government's response to the House of Commons Health Committee report on the Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism in Hospitalised Patients - Second Report of the Session 2004-05. CM 6635.

  2. Media Bids/Request for interviews with the Chairman should be directed to Luke Robinson on 07834 312 705

  3. For detailed information the Committee can be contacted on 020 7219 2348.