SMTL have been hosted by ABMU HB (Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board) since its inception in 2009, having previously been hosted by ABMU's predecessors. In 2015, Neil Frow (Managing Director of NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership) wrote to Paul Roberts (Chief Executive of ABMU) requesting the transfer of the Surgical Material Testing Laboratory from ABMU into NWSSP. The last year has involved detailed discussions between SMTL, ABMU and NWSSP, and recently it was agreed that everything was in place for SMTL to change their hosting organisation from October 1st 2016.
Initially, SMTL's clients will see very little difference, as the laboratory will continue to be located at Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend. The main difference commercial customers will see will be a different billing organisation and address (NWSSP rather than ABMU). Over the coming months you will also see some slight changes in the livery of web pages and reports to reinforce the new relationship with NWSSP, and in the longer term we anticipate that new services will be developed to support NHS Wales patients and staff, and in particular new initiatives from NWSSP procurement to purchase safer and more effective medical devices.
SMTL and the Procurement arm of NWSSP have a long and fruitful history, extending back over 30 years to the late 1970's when the Welsh Office funded the original Dressings QA Pharmacist post at East Glamorgan Hospital to support Welsh Procurement. SMTL's success has also been bound up with Mid Glamorgan Health Authority and its successors (Bridgend and District NHS Trust, Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust, ABM University NHS Trust, and now ABMU HB), which allowed us the freedom to create innovative services (such as the Biosurgery Research Unit for maggot debridement of wounds) and develop test methods for medical devices which are recognised internationally. We would like to thank everyone at ABMU for supporting us through the last few decades, and look forward to a new and exciting era working with colleagues at NWSSP.