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New UK report highlights the need for urgent action to prioritise the role of biomedical engineers in the NHS

The urgent need for biomedical engineers in the UK National Health Executive (NHS), the world’s largest healthcare system was highlighted by a new report entitled: Biomedical Engineering: Advancing UK healthcare. The report was published by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers UK on the 25 July 2014.

This report is of note given that it could lend itself to further convincing policy makers across Europe that funding for biomedical engineering is a policy option which must be prioritized. Additionally, the report further supports the findings of the World Health Organisation (WHO), who recently listed a shortage of biomedical engineers as one of the six key challenges for those countries suffering the most from chronic diseases.
This report by the Institution gives an overview of biomedical engineering in the UK and includes case studies from UK universities and industry. It looks at the role of technology and biomedical engineers in the NHS, and makes a number of key recommendations, which would help improve healthcare in the UK and stimulate growth in the sector.
Specifically, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers recommends:

  • Every NHS acute trust should have a designated Chief Biomedical Engineer which could help cut the number of incidents caused by faulty medical equipment, a mounting issue in need of urgent attention;
  • A single, dedicated funding programme for biomedical engineering research should be established in UK Research Councils;
  • Industrial and taxation policy should promote long-term investment in biomedical engineering to encourage domestic development and manufacturing;
  •  International consensus should be pursued for Global standards, a common device regulatory and approvals regime, and harmonisation of patent legislation in medical devices;
  • Named UK leads should be agreed for these policy roles.

The newly release report can be access here.


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