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HTA announces preferred option for its future
The HTA announces its preferred option for the future of its functions. The Department of Health is currently undertaking a public consultation on the future of the HTA as part of the Arm’s Length Bodies' Review. The HTA’s position statement provides more information.
Issue date: 30 July 2012
HTA position statement on the Arm’s Length Bodies' Review
The key priority for the HTA is to ensure that human tissue and organs continue to be used safely and ethically, and with proper consent, during and after any transfer of HTA functions. This will ensure continued public and professional confidence. Any transfer of functions is not likely to take place before 2015.
It is the view of the HTA and most of its stakeholders, including the Department of Health, that the safe and ethical use of human tissue is best ensured by keeping the regulatory functions together in a single organisation. Two of the options presented in the consultation document (options 1 and 3) keep the HTA functions together and therefore in this respect have the support of the HTA. The third option (option 2) proposes separating the HTA’s functions. The HTA opposes this option as it is likely to result in more complex, bureaucratic and costly regulation, without delivering any benefit to the public.
Of the two options that would keep HTA functions together, option 1 proposes that they transfer to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and option 3 proposes that the functions stay with the HTA, with further efficiencies being made by the organisation.
The proposed transfer of functions to the CQC poses a number of significant risks for the effective and efficient provision of HTA functions. Currently, we have insufficient information to either support or oppose this option.
Option 3 keeps the functions with the HTA and – providing that the level of expected efficiencies is realistic and achievable beyond the 27 per cent efficiencies made in the last two years – ensures highly effective regulation that is underpinned by specialist expertise and fit-for-purpose governance arrangements. This option poses much less risk for the safe and ethical use of human tissue and organs, and will maintain public and professional confidence.
The HTA believes that option 3 – to retain the HTA as a separate organisation and to make further efficiencies – is, subject to clarification of the further efficiencies expected, by far the best option for the regulated sectors and the public as a whole. It is our view that this option would continue the effective and efficient regulation of human tissue and organs by the HTA, minimise the risks associated with the use of human tissue, and protect public confidence. The HTA therefore supports option 3.
The July 2012 e-newsletter summaries our work across the sectors to support public and professional confidence, and explains why HTA functions should stay together.