Congratulations to Hannah Francis who recently completed her MSc in Medical Microbiology as she received the Alan Sweetman award.

This is awarded to the top student across MSc BMS and specialist courses at Manchester Metropolitan University.


The SMTL Quality Assurance department has recently completed a testing programme for the Swansea Bay University Health Board at their new Theatre Suite located at Neath Port Talbot Hospital, an investment of more than £6m.

The newly built theatre suite and supplemental areas have been cleverly designed to be incorporated to existing theatre infrastructure, fitted with three new state of the art operating theatres which is set to become the health board’s Centre of Excellence for Orthopaedic and Spinal Surgery.

SMTL were tasked with the airborne microbiological testing of all Operating Theatres to validate the cleanliness of these commissioned theatres prior to use. The new theatre project went extremely well as planned and within schedule, with all performing within expected parameters.



The biological testing department is delighted to welcome Hannah Francis to the team.

Hannah initially started with the biological department in November through an agency and joined the team on a permanent basis in May bringing the department back up to its full complement of staff. Hannah joined us after completing her masters in Medical Microbiology at Manchester and has previously worked in Fillcare, Pontyclun.

We would like to extend a warm welcome to Hannah.

Dr Gavin Hughes was invited to present at the 11th International Lymphoedema Framework Conference held at Nottingham.

Gavin presented on the work SMTL have undertaken in conjunction with Welsh NHS lymphoedema clinicians to independently assess compression garments for NHS Wales Contracts.  The presentation focused on laboratory compression profile testing generated for NWSSP Procurement Services 2022/23 contract and compared results to previous contract exercises.

The test results again identified quality issues with garments supplied in the market, however in general there are positive trends in quality over the years SMTL have been testing compression products for the Welsh NHS.

The presentation concluded with an overview of stiffness testing and questions the assumption that flat knit products have a higher stiffness index compared to circular knit garments.


In February 2023 our accreditation schedule was extended to include our new IP-5 Laboratory at Newport.

A successful UKAS audit against the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories ensures that SMTL maintains its recognised quality testing operations across two laboratory sites.  This builds on the foundations already created and supports our plans for service development and modernisation.

SMTL's updated 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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