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Gavin Hughes

A head shot of SMTL director Gavin Hughes  

 Director of Surgical Materials Testing Laboratory (SMTL)

Gavin is a microbiologist with over 25 years experience in testing medical devices.

In 2005 Gavin graduated from Cardiff University with a BSc Hons in Microbiology. Following a period working as a MLSO at the University Hospital Wales Bacteriology Department, he undertook clinical research to attain a PhD in 2000 investigating biofilm formation on medical devices. Gavin subsequently took a post doctorate research position at the Centre for Applied Microbiology Research (CAMR) at Porton Down, becoming a team leader for biofilm research projects investigating the use of bacteriophage viruses to treat pathogenic lung biofilms in cystic fibrosis patients, and phage treatment of necrotic enteritis.

Gavin currently manages the physical testing department at the Surgical Materials Testing Laboratory (SMTL) based in the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, South Wales. A major requirement of his position is to work closely with Welsh NHS Procurement Services and clinicians, to draft and manage test programs assessing the efficacy of medical devices tendered for Welsh NHS Contracts.  He also manages medical device adverse incident investigations performed at the SMTL as recognised in the Welsh Government Notice MDA/2004/054.

The efforts of his department through contract testing and adverse incidents investigations often identify performance and safety issues with medical devices. Recent testing of lymphoedema compression garments have highlighted that manufacturers claims for performance cannot be relied on, and in some cases devices that could potentially cause patient harm. This information has been relayed to clinicians and concerns are currently being addressed with manufacturers and the Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA).