The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) launched its annual review publication for 2015/16: ‘New science, new challenge’ at its annual conference this week. Both the event and the publication work to highlight the challenges faced in this time of significant and accelerating scientific advancement and how the HTA can work to create the right regulatory approach in response to these developments.
Sharmila Nebhrajani OBE, Chair of the HTA, said: “At the time our legislation was being developed, we could not have conceived of the many scientific and technological advancements we see today. From the use of stem cells in regenerative medicine to novel forms of transplantation, new treatment possibilities are emerging and new business are being created.
Our responsibility is to create a regulatory approach that responds to the accelerating pace of scientific developments while preserving our core principle; that human tissue and organs should be stored and used safely, ethically and above all; with consent.”
The HTA’s 2015/16 annual review publication highlights the work the HTA has done in the last year to:
- Revise our Codes and Standards following our consultation events, and make further improvements to our professional advice and guidance so we can share learning and good practice;
- Improve public understanding of our work by publishing new and accessible information through new channels such as our public newsletter.
- Work collaboratively with other government health bodies to reduce regulatory burden and support innovation.
Over the past year, the HTA has also undertaken 234 inspections, considered 1,172 living organ donation cases and investigated 201 incidents.
Sharmila added, “The publication provides valuable information about our inspections and investigations, as well as details of our work on organ donation and transplantation. It highlights the sheer variety of work we undertake on a daily basis.”