The Welsh Wound Innovation Centre (WWIC) has recently opened the UK’s first support surface testing facility in South Wales, and will, in future, align this laboratory with the new international standard for pressure care mattress and cushion testing – ISO 20342.

WWIC, the first national wound healing centre worldwide, will offer manufacturers and health services a number of tests, including pressure redistribution and strength, impact and durability testing.

WWIC’s independent testing facility has been in development for 2 years, with the WWIC team monitoring the draft closely to ensure that the tests and equipment provided by the facility fits in line with the standards set out.

The project has been led by Lab Director Professor Michael Clark, past president of the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, alongside an established team of clinicians.

Commenting on the launch of WWIC’s testing facility, Professor Clark said: “Currently, there are limited facilities where manufacturers and health services can test their mattresses and cushions. The launch of our testing facility offers a unique opportunity for these establishments to ensure that their support surfaces are in line with the soon to be released ISO 20342 standard.

“This standard has been put in place to outline safety and performance tests to ensure that assistive products for tissue integrity (APTI) are not causing further harm or injury to the user.

“Over the coming months we will be working to further expand the tests we can offer to ensure full coverage of ISO 20342 and, long-term, WWIC will seek accreditation for the testing facility, making this one of the first accredited mattress and cushion test laboratories in Europe.”

Beyond this facility, WWIC also offers clinical evaluation of mattresses and cushions.

A not for profit company, the Welsh Wound Innovation Initiative provides consultancy services, education and training as well as a range of clinical evaluations and studies for the NHS and commercial organisations.

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