Recently NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP), which included SMTL, received an external inspector for a several days during a full re-assessment audit, designed to assess compliance with the ISO 14001:2015 Standard. The ISO 14001 standard places greater emphasis on protection of the environment and is the international standard for environmental management systems, which generally consists of the policies, processes, plans, practices and records that define the rules governing how our organisation interacts with the environment.

SMTL's Quality Assurance department have liaised very closely with NWSSP Corporate colleagues, in order to gather evidence and improve practice in accordance with our previous ISO 14001 accreditation. We have recently been informed that the inspection was successful, and therefore we shall retain accreditation with only 2 improvements being noted for the whole of NWSSP, which is an excellent outcome. SMTL is committed to managing our environmental impact, reducing our carbon footprint and integrating the sustainable development principle into daily working life where possible.   

SMTL are pleased to announce that it has been accredited with the Customer Service Excellence Standard (CSE).

This was the first time SMTL have been audited against the CSE criteria that assesses organisations and measures customer focused areas that research has identified as a priority to customers. In order for an organisation to be recognised as achieving Customer Service Excellence they must be successfully assessed against rigid criteria, with a particular focus on Customer Insight; Organisation Culture; Information, Access Delivery and Timeliness and; Quality of Service.

SMTL Director Gavin Hughes; "I am very proud that SMTL have been accredicted with CSE. This demonstrates our commitment to customer focussed service which is achieched through the dedication and expertise of our staff."

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.



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

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.




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