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National Joint Registry 'should serve as the gold standard for implant registries'

2 November 2012

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has stated that the National Joint Registry (NJR) 'should serve as the gold standard for implant registries.'

This is just one of the recommendations made as part of the Regulation of medical implants in the EU and UK report published yesterday, the culmination of the committee's inquiry. Successes of the NJR cited in the report include the breadth of data collected and access to the data by clinicians and researchers for analysis.

The inquiry intended to look at 'how scientific evidence is used in the approval of implants for use in humans and in post-market monitoring.' The inquiry looked at regulation in a wider context than that of specific devices for example, PIP breast implants and has collected written and oral evidence since a 'call for evidence' in March this year.

Click here to download the Regulation of medical implants in the EU and UK report >

NJR National Lead Elaine Young said "We are delighted that our work has been recognised in this way. As the largest registry of its kind in the world, the NJR has a vital role to play in sharing clinical evidence on the outcomes of joint replacement surgery. Our plan for 2012-14 has a strong focus on sharing more data, in a timely and accessible way for patients, clinicians and all those who need robust data in order to protect patient safety."

HQIP Chief Executive Robin Burgess commented "It is without doubt that device registers such as the National Joint Registry are fundamental in alerting clinicians and manufacturers as to the performance of devices at a stage early enough to prevent many issues occurring or before they become very serious. While no monitoring system can be said to be perfect, it can clearly be said that if a similar system had been in place for breast implants, the PIP situation may have been avoided."

During the inquiry's second evidence session (13 June 2012), the registry was cited by witnesses as an 'asset' for the country in 'ensuring patient safety' as part of post-market surveillance for implantable devices. Established in 2003, the NJR collects data on hip, knee, ankle, elbow and shoulder joint replacements and data collection has been mandatory for since April 2011.

The registry was also recognised by witnesses as giving greater 'public visibility to accumulating experience' and offering transparent information on outcomes, through its Annual Report, which has been a 'valuable resource in changing clinical practice' particularly in respect of concerns for metal-on-metal hip replacements.

Click here to see video footage of the evidence sessions of 13 June 2012 >


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