Feedback from the Hampton Implementation Review Report

In early December 2009, the Hampton Implementation Review Report of the HFEA was published. In summary, the report commended the HFEA on its:

  • effective mechanisms in place to undertake consultation with stakeholders  
  • Code of Practice  
  • staff being well regarded by fertility clinic and research stakeholders  
  • commitment to make changes, through its Change Programme, to better incorporate Hampton principles into its processes  
  • minimum data set review, as this type of review is considered best practice and in line with Hampton principles  
  • transparency by making its inspection reports available online, together with minutes of meetings of the Licence Committees which discuss these reports.  

However, the report identifi ed a number of areas for improvement, calling for:  

  • criteria for licensing decisions to be better defi ned, more consistent and more transparent  
  • faster and more responsive application of sanctions to protect the public  
  • more risk-based targeted unannounced inspections of clinics to test compliance  
  • wider use of sanctions, and to consider whether civil sanctions under the Regulatory Enforcement and Civil Sanctions Act would provide greater fl exibility  
  • vigilance to ensure it maintains an appropriate degree of ‘distance’ between itself and its regulatory community  
  • no undue reliance on its Change Programme, as it lacks a suffi ciently robust strategy in place to ensure that the programme achieves its stated benefi ts  
  • development of more strategic awareness of the sector that it regulates.  

To read the full text of the report, go to: http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file53852.pdf.  

On 3 December 2009, Alan Doran, the HFEA’s Chief Executive, issued a statement, accepting the fi ndings in the report. “We are introducing a new risk-based compliance cycle which will roll out over the next few months. We have streamlined our licensing process by introducing an executive licensing panel to approve straightforward licence applications…We will look at what further areas for improvements there might be at our meeting in January. “