Skip to main content

Patient and Public Interest Group (PAPIG) meeting –19 October 2023

9 November 2023

The autumn Patient and Public Interest Group (PAPIG) meeting was held on 19 October. Videos of the presentations are now available to view from

The informative and interesting virtual meeting included talks on clostridioides difficle (C. difficile) infections in Wales, the safety of herbal medicines and the new All Wales Medicines Strategy Group’s (AWMSG) 5-year strategy.

The event was chaired by Dr Clare Elliott, Senior Scientist and Patient Engagement Lead, who encouraged feedback and discussion throughout the hour-and-a-half meeting. As is customary, a brief round-up of the work AWTTC has being doing since the last PAPIG meeting in July was given by Ruth Lang, AWTTC Liaison Manager.

C. difficile is one of the most challenging healthcare-associated infections and is connected to antibiotic treatment. C. difficile infection incurs costly treatment, patient isolation and longer hospital stays and can be fatal. To tie-in with November being C. difficile awareness month, Dr Michael Perry, from the UK Anaerobe Reference Unit at Public Health Wales gave an excellent presentation on C. difficile infection in Wales and highlighted what is being done to tackle this issue.

Medicines Safety Week is another awareness campaign happening in November and Dr Caroline Norris, from Yellow Card Centre Wales gave an overview of public events planned during this week to highlight the importance of reporting side effects of medicines and vaccines to the Yellow Card Scheme. More about Medicines Safety Week is available from the MHRA website at MedSafetyWeek | Making medicines and medical devices safer (

The next talk was by Dr Rob Bracchi, Medical Advisor at AWTTC, who spoke about herbal medicines and addressed the commonly-held perception that herbal medicines are safe because they are natural. Rob’s informative talk included details of cases where harms had been caused by herbal preparations and highlighted the MHRA traditional herbal registration (THR) certification mark which shows the product meets the required standards of quality, safety and evidence of traditional use before it can be sold in the UK.  

Finally, Dr Steph Francis and Dr Tom Curran, Principal Scientists at AWTTC, gave an overview of the vision, mission, ambitions and goals included in the new AWMSG Strategy 2024-2029 currently in the final stages of development. AWMSG advises Welsh Government about the use, management and prescribing of medicines and this new strategy outlines how AWMSG will support NHS Wales to ensure the best outcomes from medicines are achieved over the next 5 years. PAPIG members have been invited to submit any comments about the strategy to AWTTC by email at

AWTTC would like to thank all the presenters for such interesting and informative talks and to everyone who came to the meeting. Videos of the presentations are available at:

All are welcome to join PAPIG and attend quarterly meetings, including patients and their families, carers, patient organisations and members of the public.

The next PAPIG meeting will be on 27 February 2024 - further details including the programme and a registration form will be available from in mid-December.

Follow AWTTC: