16 May, 2019

Health Technology Wales sign a strategic collaboration with WHSSC

Health Technology sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee

We’ve signed a strategic alliance with the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) and formalised our partnership.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will support us to form closer connections with WHSSC, who share complimentary remits and roles.

“There’s considerable spend on non-medicine technologies across all care systems. Thus collaboration with WHSSC on the appraisal of highly specialised technologies which are often high cost is off particular importance” said Dr Susan Myles, Director of Health Technology Wales.

“In our role as a national body working to deliver a strategic approach to the adoption of non-medicine health technologies, this alliance with WHSSC will enable both parties to make better use of limited resources, exchange knowledge and co-produce evidence reviews.”

Health Technology Wales is a national body set up in 2017. We work with partners across health, social care and the technology sectors in the identification, appraisal and adoption of new health technologies.

We’re funded by Welsh Government and hosted within NHS Wales, but independent of both. Our remit covers any health technology that isn’t a medicine, such as medical devices, surgical procedures, psychological therapies or tele-monitoring.

WHSSC uses Health Technology Wales’ published Guidance and Health Technology Assessments (HTA) to inform its decisions and commissioning of specialised non-medicine technologies for patients residing in Wales.

As a Joint Committee of the seven Local Health Boards in Wales, WHSSC has delegated responsibility to commission a range of specialised services. It ensures equitable access to safe, effective and sustainable specialised services for the people of Wales.

Dr Andrew Champion, Assistant Director, Evidence Evaluation and Effectiveness at WHSSC, and also an expert member of the Health Technology Wales Assessment Group, welcomed this announcement.

He said: “At WHSSC, we rely on high quality evidence reviews of clinical and cost effectiveness to enable us to make important specialised commissioning decisions for Welsh patients. Our formal collaboration with Health Technology Wales will ensure closer joint working and timely delivery of these high quality reviews to support our annual planning cycle.

“Health care decision making also requires balancing the demand of new technologies and services against finite resources. The partnership will enable WHSSC to access up to date horizon scanning intelligence on emerging non-medical technologies to support this process.”

Click here for further information about WHSSC.

Our collaboration has already produced successful outcomes. Here’s how we’re working together:

  • Production of Guidance on technology topics within WHSSC remit.
  • Alignment of HTW and WHSSC topic prioritisation criteria, to promote consistency and make the criteria as relevant to Wales as possible.
  • WHSSC ‘consented access’ to the new HealthTech Connect horizon scanning platform that HTW leads on for NHS Wales.

We’re expecting our collaboration to produce several further positive outcomes, such as:

  • Enhanced access to respective centres of excellence, national and international experts and networks.
  • Shared learning and knowledge exchange to inform developments in care systems and a reduction of duplication.
  • Economies of scale and scope in non-medicine HTA and commissioning efforts.
  • Collaboration on horizon scanning activities.
  • Personal and professional development for staff.