The boss of The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is responsible for ensuring that medical devices work, is to step down next year after almost 20 years at the agency.
CEO, Ian Hudson, will step down in autumn 2019, after the UK has departed the EU, and the hunt for his successor will commence early next year to ensure a smooth handover.
Much of the industry’s mobility equipment providers are looking to Mr Hudson and his team to help guide companies through Brexit uncertainty, which will impact on things like CE marking.
MHRA has introduced a number of measures recently to help mobility manufacturers navigate their obligations following Brexit, including an interactive guide.
After Brexit, UK notified bodies, such as MHRA, whose mark allows a manufacturer to sell its equipment anywhere in the EU, will lose their status as EU notified bodies, meaning marks like MHRA will no longer be valid in the EU.
Dr Hudson said his reasons for stepping down are both personal and professional.
“I had always intended to reduce my total work commitment to enable me to pursue other things and perhaps have more of a portfolio career by the time I reached 60, which has now happened.
“I feel the time is right for a new person to guide the agency and our work through its next phase, following the UK’s departure from the European Union next year.
“It has been a pleasure and privilege to have worked with so many able and committed people over the past 18 years. Our Agency makes a real difference to the health of millions of people in the UK, Europe and beyond, and it has been an honour to be part of that.
“Although I will be standing down next autumn, my focus remains on ensuring the agency delivers its essential contribution to public health, and I look forward to continuing to lead our work until September 2019.”
The news comes as David Wathey, head of supply resilience and sustainability at the Department of Health and Social Care, said that the government is working to identify which products NHS trusts should stockpile.
Products could include medical devices and equipment and some industry observers are keen to hold additional stocks of items for fear of backlogs at ports following the UK’s EU departure.
The Department of Health and Social Care generally advises against stockpiling medical equipment but urges suppliers to raise stock levels by an additional six weeks’ worth.
According to HSJ, Mr Wathey told an audience at a recent Association of British Healthtech Industries conference, that it may be “prudent” and “beneficial” for NHS trusts to hold extra stocks of certain products.