Using expert campaigning to educate politicians and stakeholders on innovation in the urology industry.
The Urology Trade Association (UTA) was set up in 2007 with the overriding aim to protect and promote the Drug Tariff as the preferred mechanism to support research, innovation and development in the urology industry. The urology industry is one of the largest health product suppliers to patients, via the NHS. Demand for urological products is expected to rise over the next decade, in part because of the UK’s ageing population, and the bladder and bowel complications which may develop as people get older. Whitehouse acts as Secretariat for, and provides public affairs to, the UTA.
The UTA meets and engages with partners from across the NHS to highlight the major opportunities to be found in the urological sector. We have successfully identified key parliamentary groups to amplify the issues in Parliament (e.g. APPG on Continence Care), and have also organised meetings with healthcare bodies and policymakers to highlight the social and economic impact of changes to the current framework. The UTA has been immensely successful in its campaign and has since grown to actively pursue other related areas of interest and concern to the industry.
There is now a widespread awareness in the policy environment of the dangers to patients and costs to the NHS that would be associated with any rise in urinary tract infections associated with a return to reusing catheters. The Government have now abandoned plans to remove urology products from Part IX of the Drug Tariff, and the introduction of formularies has been slowed down, with their restrictiveness relaxed.
Whitehouse provide an excellent service running the secretariat of our trade association and an academic/clinical interest group. Discussions are always open and collaborative between members and this is down to the careful chairing and support provided between meetings. An added strength to the service provided by Whitehouse is their background in public affairs, stakeholder relationship management and public relations – they have good insight on how to optimise on our media work – based on insight into parliamentary and civil service procedures so our group communications are always targeted and achieve the desired effect of raising awareness about important issues.