Health Minister praises Bridgend laboratory for keeping patients safe
SMTL were delighted to host Welsh Government Health Minister, Mark Drakeford, at SMTL on the 20th November 2014.
SMTL demonstrated the testing of lymphodema garments, and explained how during their test programme they uncovered some devices which, whilst being CE marked, did not meet the performance requirements of Welsh clinicians. This information is now being used by colleagues in the Welsh Procurement Service to purchase compression garments which meet clinical need, as part of the Prudent Healthcare agenda. They also discussed problems uncovered during surgical instrument testing, and finally updated the Minister on the recently completed Usability study which they undertook for the International Standards Organisation into non-Luer neuraxial connectors, which are designed to prevent wrong route injections and reduce the risk of patient harm and death.
(Image from Wikipedia, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license by National Assembly for Wales (Flickr: Mark Drakeford) [CC-BY-2.0 ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
A press statement issued by Welsh Government is reproduced below.
Health Minister Mark Drakeford has praised the work of a Bridgend-based laboratory which plays a crucial role in making sure the Welsh NHS has access to the safest medical devices.
The Minister toured the Welsh Government-funded Surgical Materials Testing Laboratory (SMTL) at the Princess of Wales Hospital. The laboratory provides the Welsh NHS with evidence about the safety and effectiveness of medical devices.
The laboratory has recently been testing hosiery and compression devices to treat lymphoedema – a swelling which develops as a result of an impaired lymphatic system which either hasn't developed properly or has been damaged.
It is taking part in a special programme to examine devices to treat the condition, identifying those which do not perform as expected and which could ultimately lead to patient harm and identifying those which meet safety standards.
The Welsh Government's strategy for lymphoedema services in Wales, Designed for Lymphoedema, was published in 2009, with Ministers investing £1m annually from April 2011.
Professor Drakeford said:
"This laboratory plays an important part in making sure patients have access to the safest, most effective medical devices possible.
"The Welsh lymphoedema service is a leader in Europe in ensuring patients have access to safe and effective pressure garments. Robust testing has been put in place to ensure these essential garments are the best they can be, while also making savings for the NHS.
"The lymphoedema service in Wales is an excellent example of prudent healthcare. It has improved local services and provided greater access to treatment for patients. The service will continue to work closely with this laboratory to keep improving the service we provide to patients."