SMTL Blog

We are delighted to announce that our Technical Director Pete Phillips has been recognised for his many years of working in the NHS.

Pete has been awarded the Royal College of Anaesthetists President’s Commendation in recognition of his work with the Safe Anaesthesia Liaison Group (SALG).  Pete has been an active member of SALG for many years where he has been able to bring a fresh perspective to deliberations from a devolved nation perspective whilst representing the Welsh Government.

Pete has also been appointed a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. This is one of the highest accolades that can be paid to a member as it recognises the distinction members have attained in their pharmacy career.  As Fellowships are based on nominations from members, it also signifies the high esteem in which members are held by their peers.

The Evidence Based Procurement Board (EBPB) have issued advice and an evidence review for the use of DACC (dialkylcarbamoyl chloride) coated dressings.

Due to the mixed results reported in the review and the few well designed studies published to date, the EBPB agreed that the evidence is currently inadequate to make a positive recommendation for the use of DACC coated wound dressings.

The full statement and evidence review are available on the EBPB pages.

An addendum to the European standard BS EN 455-1:2020+A1:2022 Medical gloves for single use - Requirements and testing for freedom from holes has been published (January 2023).  

The 2022 addendum has reintroduced the option to statistically sample gloves using multiple sampling plans.  The new document rectifies an anomaly that SMTL identified with the 2020 standard, where the option to statistically sample using multiple sampling plans had been inadvertently removed. 

The 2022 addendum also clarifies that testing should be performed on each lot and a definition has been provided (lot - collection of gloves of the same design, colour, shape, size and formulation, manufactured at essentially the same time, using the same process, raw materials of the same specifications, common equipment and packed in the same type of individual container)

SMTL are UKAS accredited for BS EN 455-1, 2 and 3 testing.
 

 

There is currently no standard for assessing the antimicrobial properties of wound dressings. 

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN - www.cencenelec.eu) established a working group (CEN/TC205/WG15/PG2) in 2010 to draft a standard, and since its inception SMTL have been heavily involved in the development of candidate test methods.

Considerable inter-laboratory testing has been performed in the development of the method which has resulted in a draft standard prEN 17854 Antimicrobial wound dressings — Requirements and test method which has been published for comment.

Dr Pamela Ashman and Elizabeth Davies from SMTL attended the November 2022 meeting held in Sweden to discuss the comments received for the draft standard, and are pictured along with other members of the working group on the Swedish Institute Standards roof on a mild Stockholm winter afternoon. 

 

There is a further meeting scheduled for February 2023 to discuss any further comments on the changes made in the meeting, with an intention to publish the standard later in 2023.

The COVID pandemic has meant that UKAS have not been able to perform assessments in their traditional form, and for the last 2 years assessments have been conducted virtually with technical activities witnessed by ‘live stream’.

In a return to 'business as usual' SMTL had the pleasure of hosting assessors within the laboratory again for our 2022 annual inspection.  The aim of the assessment is to determine whether SMTL have the necessary technical competence and that our Quality Management System conforms with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.

The audit was a surveillance visit performed by 3 assessors, 2 of which were new to SMTL.  It's always a step into the unknown when new auditors arrive, but all assessors were very complimentary on the competency and knowledge of our staff, with only 1 minor improvement finding identified during the audit.

SMTL's latest UKAS accreditation schedule is available to download from the UKAS website (PDF download), and our UKAS certificate of accreditation (web link) is now also available electronically.

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