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Petition presented to Patient Safety Commissioner

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Petition presented to Patient Safety Commissioner

In one of her first official meetings, the newly appointed Patient Safety Commissioner was presented with the Safe Mum, Safe Baby petition by a young woman with epilepsy.

In early October, we were pleased to meet with Dr Henrietta Hughes to present our Safe Mum, Safe Baby petition. This petition – signed by 1,647 people – calls on the Government to invest in vital research into safer epilepsy medicines for pregnant women. 

Presenting the petition to Dr Hughes

Sadly, babies are still being born today with physical and neurodevelopmental disabilities caused by their mothers’ epilepsy drugs.  Women should not have to make a choice between taking their life-saving medicines and safeguarding the health of their baby.

Science holds the answer. But the sector needs investment. This call for investment is at the very heart of our Safe Mum, Safe Baby campaign.

Dr Hughes, a practicing GP and former NHS medical director, started the recently created Patient Safety Commissioner role in mid-September, making this one of her first meetings with a patient charity.  Presenting the petition Yasmin Golding, a young woman with epilepsy who hopes to have a child, spoke passionately on behalf of the many women who have to make difficult decisions about starting a family when taking epilepsy medication. 

Presenting the petition

The creation of a Patient Safety Commissioner was recommended in the First Do No Harm report published in 2020. Dr Hughes will act as a champion for patients and will promote the need for safer medicines and medical devices. 

The petition presentation was the latest stage in our Safe Mum, Safe Baby campaign, following a parliamentary roundtable and our work in highlighting the MHRA’s review of Topiramate. We continue to call on the Government to invest in epilepsy medicines research. With properly funded research, we believe that Safe Mum, Safe Baby will cease to be a slogan for women with epilepsy – and become a reality. 

Safe Mum, Safe Baby: our petition

Given that our petition was entirely virtual, we thought it would be appropriate to present it virtually, too. Hence, our presentation video. Best of all, it's much more environmentally friendly than printing off paper with thousands of signatures!


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