18 October, 2022

National bodies to continue building on success of Celtic Connections strategic alliance

A strategic alliance between Health Technology Wales (HTW) and its national counterparts in Scotland and Ireland is to be renewed.

The Celtic Connections strategic alliance will see HTW, the Scottish Health Technology Group (SHTG) and the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA) of Ireland continue to share knowledge and explore opportunities to work in collaboration on the appraisal of non-medicine health technologies.
Renewing their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to continue to work in partnership, will ensure the three organisations can make best use of the resources available for health technology assessment and increase the volume of topics for which national advice is published.

Across the UK and Ireland annual spend on non-medicine health technologies is growing and there is also an increasing global focus on the assessment of non-medicine technologies and the development of methodologies for this.

By working together, the three Celtic Health Technology Assessment (HTA) bodies can better meet that demand and overcome the challenges of each organisation having a modest budget and staff to carry out the work.

Dr Susan Myles, Director of HTW, said:

“We are delighted to renew our Celtic Connections strategic alliance. We have already experienced major benefits from being part of this alliance, including opportunities to both co-produce and adapt evidence reviews, promote knowledge and staff exchange and increase the volume and range of technologies we consider.
HTW looks forward to continuing to build on these achievements and to continue to collaborate to maximise the contributions of all three organisations.”

Dr Mairin Ryan, Director of Health Technology Assessment at HIQA, said:

“HIQA very much values our collaboration with HTW and SHTG. We look forward to building on our track record of co-production of evidence synthesis and HTA including our recent collaborative work in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ed Clifton, Unit Head for SHTG, added:

“SHTG looks forward to continue building on this valuable alliance. All three organisations have benefited greatly from an ongoing open dialogue, and specifically the opportunity to share knowledge of HTA processes, share learning on impact and reach, collaborate on evidence reviews and enhance career development opportunities for our staff.”

The aims of the alliance are as follows:
• Formalise collaboration and partnership working and improve shared understanding of work programmes and processes.
• Explore opportunities to co-produce or adapt evidence reviews on non-medicine health technologies of mutual interest.
• Realise economies of scale and scope in non-medicine HTA efforts, increasing both the volume and range of technology topics for which national advice is developed in each country.
• Promote knowledge exchange to inform developments in respective national care systems.
• Enhance professional and personal development opportunities for the scientific and secretariat staff.

Benefits experienced by HTW from being part of the alliance since 2019 include:
• Co-production and adaption of evidence reviews
• Secondment of senior staff
• Enhanced access to clinical and subject experts
• Shared training and development opportunities for staff
• Reduced duplication and costs realised through collaborative working