The upshot of changes to the regulatory landscape in Europe includes the need for enhanced input from independent experts, particularly when assessing high risk devices. In the UK the new expert body is called the Devices Expert Advisory Committee (DEAC) and its first boss is eminent physician Dr Peter Nightingale who has been appointed as chairman.
Sitting under the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA), the DEAC will provide the agency with access to clinical advice and facilitate engagement with the clinical community.
Replacing the Committee on the Safety of Devices (CSD), the DEAC will be responsible for providing independent, expert input and advice on a wide range of aspects relating to medical advice to help ensure safe use and management of medical devices and provide a link to professional bodies. It will be responsible for providing independent, expert strategic advice to the MHRA in support of its role to ensure that medical devices are acceptably safe and are used both safely and effectively. It will also support the agency in developing and maintaining collaborative relationships with clinical professional bodies.
As for Dr Nightingale, he’s a consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine and was president of the Royal College of Anaesthetists until September 2012. He was formerly president of the Intensive Care Society and vice chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.
MHRA Devices Director John Wilkinson said; “I am delighted that Dr Nightingale has accepted this appointment at a time when the agency is busy implementing the recommendations of the review chaired by Professor Terence Stephenson into access to clinical advice. His expertise and experience will be invaluable in helping the agency as it responds to the demands of the future.”
Dr Nightingale said; “I am delighted to be taking on this role. The new committee will play a vital role in providing expert advice for MHRA on a huge range of medical issues and will help to ensure safe use and management of medical devices.”