Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

Introduction from the Chair

This is an exciting time for the HTA. The pace of scientific advance seems ever quicker and the potential for new developments and therapies for patients often comes from quite unexpected quarters.

The HTA’s challenge is to make sure not only that we regulate well now, but can also continually adapt, where possible, to reflect future innovation. This is not only a challenge but an opportunity too; an opportunity to find ways to adapt our regulatory model to protect the public. It will also help us to foster the innovation and creative thinking from which new scientific insights and cures will emerge.

This Strategy describes how we balance these challenges and opportunities. It identifies new business priorities as well as setting out the blueprint for an organisational model capable of delivering them. The 2016/19 Strategy describes how we will deliver our day to day operations, develop targeted regulation to sustain public confidence and deploy our most valuable asset, our expert staff.

We know the HTA continues to be recognised as an effective, expert regulator. We have overseen significant improvements in the practices of hospitals, mortuaries, research organisations and others. Our remit and responsibilities have continued to grow as we take on new legislation from the EU. We now licence over 850 premises and inspect or audit around 180 of them every year. This delivery will continue. But we will strengthen our expertise by keeping abreast – ahead if we can – of the rapidly developing scientific landscape.

In the coming year, several important projects will help us:

  • We will implement our revised Codes of Practice and Standards. This will introduce new working practices that reflect the high standards we expect institutions to meet.
  • We will implement the EU Directives on Coding and Import in the UK. This will ensure that traceability, quality and safety of tissue for human application remains high, even when crossing borders.
  • We will continue to refine our regulatory model to focus on reducing burden where risks to public confidence are the lowest
  • We will conduct a root and branch review of our fees structure.

This is a full programme of development work for 2016/17 and beyond and we will continue to draw on the wisdom and practical insight from you, our stakeholders to help us with this work.

In order to deliver our programme of work we have restructured and redefined the responsibilities of our highly capable executive team. They will work with our dedicated non- executive board that combines both sector skills and lay experience, to steer the HTA through the period of this plan.

Successful regulation really is a team sport. My thanks to our “team”; our Board, especially those who retired this year after many years in service to the HTA; our staff for the truly important work they do and finally to you, our partners, who ensure standards are as high as they can be in providing vital services to patients and the public. 

Last updated on: 31 May 2016