SMTL Blog

SMTL is proud to announce that it has become the first laboratory to offer accreredited testing to EN 13726 Test Methods for Wound Dressings - Aspects of absorption, moisture vapour transmission, waterproofness and extensibility.

The long-awaited revision of the wound dressing standard EN 13726:2023 has recently been published replacing EN 13726 parts 1-4.

Since the original EN 13726 parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 were published, dressings technology has changed significantly. Test method parameters which, seemed reasonable when the standard was first drafted, are now causing operational difficulties for test houses, manufacturers and purchasers. During the same period, European procurement legislation has also changed, and it is increasingly common for contracts to specify that data be provided in compliance with EN 13726. However, the technical issues now inherent in the standard mean the usefulness of some of these data is questionable, and in fact can be misleading. 

To address these issues, all the existing test methods have had their testing parameters amended and in many cases the test equipment has also been modified. New test methods have also been included that more closely simulate clinical practice, such as the inclusion of fluid retention capacity and absorbency under compression, which measures the absorbency of dressings that are designed to be used under compression bandages or hosiery. 

To aid manufacturers and procurement organisations in requesting pertinent data on specific types of wound dressings, the standard provides a suggested list of test methods for each of the main categories of wound dressings.

For more information please reach out to our dedicated team via our website or email directly to info@smtl.co.uk.

Congratulations to Emma Willett who recently achieved her 1st Dan black belt in martial art Shotokan Karate. 

Emma was asked to join TSKC in January 2019 where her daughter had already been practising for two years.  A well deserved achievement for all of the hard work Emma has put into training for this.

 

 

UKAS undertakes an annual assessment of accredited laboratories, however every forth year UKAS performs a full reassessment of the organisation and 2023 was our lucky 4th year!  

This visit was complicated by additions to scope from our Biological and Physical Testing Departments and an extension to scope for our QA Department. This was also the first assessment of biological testing activities from our IP-5 satellite laboratory in Newport.

The audit team was thoroughly impressed with our team's professionalism, expertise and the manner in which we collaborated throughout the process with "great links between the QMS and technical competencies".

We are expecting publication of the final report over the next few weeks, however the formal UKAS recommendation is that SMTL maintain accreditation to ISO 17025 including all of the requested new test method additions, extensions to our accreditation and extending the schedule testing from IP-5.

Tomos Rodrigues from SMTL’s Research and Development (R&D) department recently underwent training to become qualified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Lean Six Sigma methodologies have been adopted by a range of companies worldwide to improve processes and increase quality. The training encompassed the deployment of Lean techniques and the application of advanced statistical methods, as well as lean management and risk assessment approaches.

SMTL’s R&D department fulfils a number of functions, including health technology assessment, technical assurance and method development. Their wide-ranging scientific expertise underpins their high-quality outputs for NHS Wales and commercial workstreams. Through the adoption of Lean Six Sigma toolkits, the R&D department will continue to improve the capability of its processes, whilst delivering sector leading service provision for the benefit of the patients of Wales and its commercial clients.

Tomos has since provided training on core Lean Six Sigma tools to the R&D Department that will support efficient service delivery and drive a culture of continuous improvement. He is currently developing a Design of Experiments (DoE) training programme to establish the use of this systematic and efficient framework for experimentation within SMTL. Tomos is now looking forward to introducing Lean Six Sigma to staff across SMTL departments later in the year.

 

 

 

SMTL have recruited 3 laboratory technicians to strengthen testing activities from our satellite laboratory at IP-5, Newport.

Pearl O'Shea previously worked at Simbec-Orion Ltd and joins our Biological Testing Department. Pearl will be working with colleagues developing methods to measure the resistance of protective clothing materials to viral penetration.

Jess Fox has joined our Quality Assurance Department from Celtic Food Laboratories Ltd. Jess will provide resilience for our environmental testing activities across Wales and will also be involved with QA functions at IP-5.

Finally, Jakob Morgan has formally joined our Physical Testing Department.  Jakob originally joined SMTL as a Kickstart employee and subsequently retained on a bank contract working across various departments in SMTL.  Jakob will be working from IP-5 validating ISO 14685 medical mask testing methods.

We would like to extend a warm welcome to all of the new faces at SMTL.

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