In Autumn 2019,  SMTL hosted  UKAS, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service, for our annual independent inspection.

Over a period of four days, two inspectors asked SMTL staff to undertake a variety of tests, observing whether they complied with our QMS (Quality Management System) and adhered to the requirements of ISO 17025, the international standard for testing labs.

The two inspectors covered the fields of physical and biological testing, inspecting a variety of paperwork, including testing projects, training records, calibration certificates and inter-laboratory proficiency tests.

This year the inspection was longer than usual because UKAS were also assessing SMTL's migration of their Quality Management System from ISO 17025:2005 to ISO 17025:2017.  This necessitated a complete revision of our Quality Manual and a number of Standard Operating Procedures, and took over 12 months to complete.  In addition UKAS also inspected testing to the new British Standard BS 661210:2018 Graduated compression hosiery, anti-embolism hosiery and graduated support hosiery which has now been included on our UKAS schedule.

The inspection went well, with the inspectors again complimenting SMTL on their management and control of testing.  They recommended that SMTL maintain their accreditation status and granted our accreditation transition from ISO/IEC 17025:2005 to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 in January 2020. 

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

SMTL are pleased to formally welcome two new members of staff to the team.

Chloe Parry joins our office team to cover maternity leave.  Chloe has worked in various office administration roles in a number of local companies and joined the Office team at SMTL in February 2020.

Lisa Tully joins the SMTL Biologial team on a research project investigating methods of measuring residual protein on surgical instruments. With a BSc in Biomedical Science and a Master’s degree in Integrative Bioscience and Business,   Lisa has worked for several research based companies, most recently for Jellagen, a marine biotechnology company who develop scientific products based on collagen, including Jellyfish collagen. Lisa also started in February 2020.

Finally, we said goodbye to Angela Clarke,  who retired from SMTL in November.  We would like to thank Angela for her hard work, diligence and loyalty since she started in SMTL and send her and her husband Mike our best wishes for the future.






SMTL have recently published and updated three articles on medical compression hosiery:


Dr James Evans, a healthcare researcher at SMTL, has had a  paper published in Applied Health Economics and Health Policy  (Dale, M., Evans, J., Carter, K., O’Connell, S., Morgan, H., Carolan-Rees, G., 2019. iFuse Implant System for Treating Chronic Sacroiliac Joint Pain: A NICE Medical Technology Guidance. Appl Health Econ Health Policy.

James carried out the work whilst working at Cedar. The paper presents the process undertaken for the development of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Medical Technology Guidance on iFuse, an implant for the treatment of chronic sacroiliac joint pain.

Clinical results suggested that iFuse led to improved pain, improved Oswestry disability index (ODI) and improved quality of life when compared to non-surgical treatment. The economic analysis indicated that iFuse becomes cost saving at 8 years (approximately £129 per patient) compared to non-surgical treatments and that these cost savings continue to increase after 8 years. NICE published guidance in October 2018 recommending that the case for adoption of the iFuse system in the UK National Health Service (NHS) was supported by the evidence


Leanne Gater, a documentary film maker from Wild Films contacted SMTL earlier this year about a documentary project on Horseshoe Crabs.  SMTL undertake endotoxin testing for NHS facilities across Wales using  LAL, a substance derived from the blood of these Horseshoe Crabs.

Leanne wanted to to demonstrate how Horseshoe Crabs aid in keeping millions of people safe though endotoxin testing, but also how they’re also suffering from a decline in population and what could be done to help save the species.

Endotoxins are complexes associated with the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria which are constantly shed into the environment and released when the bacteria die or multiply. Bacterial endotoxins are the most common and by far the most potent pyrogen (pyrogen literally means heat generating, and the term refers to any substance, microbial or otherwise, which would induce a temperature rise when introduced into a patient). Commonly used methods of sterilisation generally do not destroy endotoxins, therefore a product may be sterile and free of viable microorganisms but not necessarliy be endotoxin-free.

Leanne spent time at SMTL in October 2019 and filmed SMTL staff undertaking the tests which we perform for Health Boards across Wales, checking that their surgical instruments have been reprocessed appropriately and that there is no unsafe level of residual endotoxin on their instrument. 

We will update this page when we know the date of release of Leanne's film.


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