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Issue:- 24 October 2013

Euro-MP welcomes safer breast implants

MEP'S have agreed to new rules for the safety and performance of medical devices and diagnostic devices. The Liberal Democrat MEP for the North West, England Area, Chris Davies, has been calling for improvements to safety laws following the PIP breast implant scandal where EU authorities seemed powerless to inspect factory facilities.

Davies said:- "The EU was responsible for certifying the safety of these devices, but there were few safeguards in place to check manufacturers were playing by the rules."

MEPs endorsed plans for stricter market surveillance including unannounced inspections of manufacturers and better traceability rules.

Davies supported the measures as an example of where the EU had a bigger role to play in ensuring patient safety.

Davies said:- "Women who have implants for any reason should not have to worry about whether what they are putting in their body is safe. They have every right to expect that if a product is certified it has passed safety tests. There is a Europe-wide market in medical devices and an implant manufactured in France should be as safe as one made in the UK. Today's vote is one step closer to safer medicine across the continent."

In the same set of regulations, Lib Dem MEPs objected to proposals to make some in-vitro diagnostic medical devices such as making HIV tests subject to medical prescription.

Chris added:- "It is not in the interests of public health to restrict access to some high risk tests, such as HIV tests. It is right that in the UK HIV tests are easily available in order to reach certain high risk groups."

The text adopted by the Parliament will now be negotiated with national governments in the coming months.

Suspected loan shark arrested following operation in Birkenhead

A 40 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of illegal money lending, following a raid in Birkenhead this morning.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team working in partnership with Wirral Borough Council Trading Standards, and assisted by Wirral Council's Anti Social Behaviour Team and Merseyside Police executed a warrant at a residential address in the centre of Birkenhead. During the search documentation was found.

The suspect is currently in custody assisting officers from the Team with their enquiries.

Councillor Brian Kenny, Wirral Council's Cabinet Member for the Environment said:- "Illegal money lenders prey on the vulnerable and can cause real misery in communities so I am pleased that this operation has taken place. The work we are doing in partnership with the Illegal Money Lending Team aims to protect communities and prevent more people from becoming trapped in endless spirals of debt. I would urge anyone who has been the victim of an illegal money lender to report it in confidence so that we can continue to crack down on the criminals responsible."

Nationally the Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured 287 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to more than 171 years worth of custodial sentences.

They have written off £40.3 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 22,000 victims.

To report a loan shark:-

► Call the 24/7 confidential hotline:- 0300 555 2222
► Text:- 'loan shark + your message' to:- 60003
► Email:-

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