19.10.2011

Newcastle Hospitals launches assessment centre for new medical technologies

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, (working in partnership with the York Health Economics Consortium, YHEC) is this week launching itself as one of four centres nationally to undertake official assessments of medical devices on behalf of NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence).

The launch event, to be held on Wednesday 19th October, celebrates the opening of an External Assessment Centre which sees Newcastle and York become partners in a major contract to assess and evaluate new and emerging medical technologies for NICE.

The centre will assess the technical, clinical and cost effectiveness of new medical devices to inform NICE guidance which helps NHS staff to make informed purchasing decisions. Scientists, economists and engineers at the centre will also work with NICE to facilitate further research on promising technologies where current evidence is limited.

Dr Andrew Sims, Head of Clinical Measurement and Engineering Unit at the Freeman Hospital said: “It’s great to be able to launch the centre this week and let people know about all the great work we have been doing with the University of York in regards to medical device evaluation. Being involved in bringing new technologies into service and helping to ensure that devices are effective is something we are really proud of.”

Andrew continued: “Newcastle has been involved in medical device assessment for 30 years, with its roots being traced back to the Department of Health’s device assessment programme in 1977. A few years down the line and many changes later, our role as an assessment centre for NICE is about more than assessing safety, but also performance, value for money and effectiveness and complements our other activities, including developing innovative devices. Working with YHEC has been really valuable as their existing links with NICE and expertise can be combined to make a really great partnership.”

John Hutton, Director of the York Health Economics Consortium said: “YHEC has worked with NICE on a variety of projects since 1999 and we are particularly pleased to become one of its External Assessment Centres. The Centre contract provides an exciting opportunity to expand our collaboration with Newcastle to support the development, assessment and adoption of cost-effective technologies in the NHS.”

Professor Carole Longson, Director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, said “We’re delighted to welcome the new joint external assessment centre based at Newcastle and York.  Their input to the production of NICE medical technology guidance will be essential, providing independent assessment of the evidence available for devices going through the NICE evaluation process.   We look forward to working with the centre, and benefitting from their combined technical and economics expertise in supporting the development of robust guidance for the NHS.”

For more information visit www.nice.org.uk/mt or www.newcastle-hospitals.nhs.uk

 

Notes to editors:

  • NICE commissions external assessment centres from a range of organisations, including the NHS and academic bodies.
  • The external assessment centre assesses a device and produces an assessment report for the NICE Medical Technology Advisory Committee. These centres have knowledge of and expertise in medical technologies and appropriate methods of evaluation.

For further information, in the first instance please contact Hannah Pickard at hannah.pickard@nuth.nhs.uk at the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust or ring 0191 223 1543.

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