House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report on life sciences: industrial strategy published
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has published a report on the Government’s approach to life sciences in the context of the industrial strategy. The report underlines that although the Government has suggested that life sciences is a flagship sector, the delivery of firm action to support this rhetoric has been lacking.
Commenting on Sir John Bell’s report in relation to the life sciences sector, the Committee notes that it was very well received but that complicated implementation arrangements, combined with a lack of authority and accountability and poor NHS engagement, has hampered progress.
Key recommendations from the Committee include:
- The establishment of a central Life Sciences Government Body to oversee implementation of key recommendations
- Joint accountability from the Secretaries of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Health and Social Care for cross-Government elements of the strategy
- The creation of a new statutory body, the Office for Industrial Strategy (OfIS) with the authority to scrutinise the implementation of the wider Industrial Strategy and the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and to publish its findings
- The NHS should give greater priority to the uptake and spread of innovation, Academic Health Sciences Networks should be supporting this
- The Government should address data collection issues to support patients and the wider economy
- It is unclear how the Government will respond to this Report but there are several areas for development. Turning the verbal commitment to the life sciences sector into a reality will be essential if the Government is to retain investment in the UK after Brexit.