Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

HTA Triennial Review Publishes

Issue date: 
20 April 2017

The HTA’s Triennial Review

The HTA’s triennial review was conducted by the Cabinet Office to provide assurance to the Department of Health and the public that the HTA’s functions are still required and that we are operating efficiently.

It is government policy that an arm’s length body (ALB) should only be set up, or remain in existence, where there is clear evidence that this model is the most appropriate and cost-effective way of delivering the function in question.

Overall, the Triennial Review team found clear evidence:

  • that we perform necessary functions to a high standard; and
  • that we are a very highly regarded by the large majority of stakeholders from whom views were received.

We have developed an action plan which sets out the ways in which the HTA aims to meet the recommendations coming out of the review (see below).

In Brief

The review is in two stages:

Stage One - Concluded that the functions were necessary and that the current form of the HTA is most appropriate

There were a number of concerns raised by stakeholders about some provisions of the Human Tissue Act 2004, with a view that the Act now both imposed unnecessary burdens in some areas and also failed to provide for necessary regulation in others.

Whilst there is no prospect of legislative change at the present time, it is clear that there will remain active interest amongst stakeholders in the limitations of the legislation.

The HTA and the Department of Health will therefore need to continue to work together to find further flexibility to tackle issues in a practical way within the current legislation.

Stage Two - Looked at performance, efficiency and governance issues

Particular areas of focus for the review included:

  • the potential for the HTA to further develop a coordinated approach with other regulators and inspection regimes;
  • sharing best practice approaches to stakeholder engagement; and
  • delivery of the recommendations set out in the 2013 report by Justin McCracken

The Triennial Review was published in April 2017 and contains 12 recommendations for the HTA, and the Department of Health; the HTA and the Department of Health have accepted all the recommendations.

You can read the full report and our action plan via the links below:

If you have any questions about our Triennial Review or the HTA action plan, please let us know by filling out this online form, or calling us on 0207 7269 1900.

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