Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC)
Products for ‘rapid uptake’
The AHSN Network and AHSNs, including Health Innovation Manchester, are key members of the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC). The AAC is the umbrella organisation for UK health innovation, the front door to support for innovators and sets the strategy for a more effective innovation ecosystem. It makes it easier for innovators to navigate the UK healthcare system, streamline the development process for promising healthcare innovation, identify gaps in the UK’s innovation support offer and get breakthrough innovations into the NHS and to patients faster than previously.
Rapid Uptake Products
The Rapid Uptake Products (RUP) programme has been designed to support stronger adoption and spread of proven innovations. It identifies and supports products with NICE approval that support the NHS Long Term Plan’s key clinical priorities, but have lower than expected uptake to date. The 2020/22 programme builds on the successes of the 2019/20 RUPs programme, with themes selected via an open, staged, selection process.
The following additional innovations will be supported through the Rapid Uptake Products (RUP) Programme for 2020/22:
Lipid Management: High Intensity Statins, Ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors: The Rapid Uptake Product (RUP) for lipid management is a novel, NICE-approved clinical pathway. This innovation aims to improve a person’s lipid profile, by reducing cholesterol concentration in blood by treating patients with the right medicine along the evidence-based pathway. The pathway includes three medicines: high intensity statins (HIST), ezetimibe, and PCSK9 inhibitors (continued from 2019/20).
Measuring fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) concentration in asthma: products NIOX VERO and NObreath: FeNO testing is a method of diagnosing asthma by measuring fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) in the breath of patients suspected of having asthma. The aim of this innovation will be to improve patient care and outcomes by more effective diagnosis of patients suspected of having asthma.
Biologics for treating severe asthma: Reslizumab, Benralizumab, Mepolizumab and Omalizumab: Biological therapies can transform patient lives by reducing long-term side effects of other treatments (e.g. oral corticosteroids (OCS)) and can also reduce the number of exacerbations and life-threatening asthma attacks. The aim of this innovation will be to improve patient care and outcomes by providing a better treatment option for patients with severe asthma.
Three Rapid Uptake Products from the 2019/20 programme will continued through 2020/21:
- Placental growth factor (PIGF) based tests to help rule out pre-eclampsia quickly so that pregnant women receive the most appropriate care
- HeartFlow FFRCT – analysis which creates a 3D model of the coronary arteries to help clinicians to rapidly diagnose patients with suspected coronary artery disease from coronary CT angiography
- PCSK9 inhibitors – will continue as part of a wider Lipid Management workstream. PCSK9 inhibitors are for the treatment of very high cholesterol, and are used together with a statin-type cholesterol-lowering medicine, or for patients who are unable to take or tolerate a statin.
Pathway Transformation Fund
The Pathway Transformation Fund (PTF) is available to help NHS organisations integrate the Rapid Uptake Products into everyday practices. Delivered by the AHSN Network, the PTF supports primary and secondary care by increasing access to new treatments or diagnostics and provides funds to NHS organisations to overcome barriers that might prevent them from implementing these new developments.
MedTech Funding Mandate
The NHS Long Term Plan committed to accelerate the uptake of selected innovative medical devices, diagnostics and digital products to patients faster, by developing the MedTech Funding Mandate policy, which is delivered in partnership with AHSNs.
The MedTech Funding Mandate policy launch was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will now launch on the 1 April 2021. The guidance for 2021/22 is published here.
In 2021/22 the policy will support devices, diagnostics or digital products that:
- are effective: demonstrated through positive NICE guidance;
- deliver material savings to the NHS: the benefits of the innovation are over £1 million over five years for the population of England;
- are cost-saving in-year: NICE modelling demonstrates a net saving in the first 12 months of implementing the technology;
- are affordable to the NHS: the budget impact should not exceed £20 million, in any of the first three years.
To minimise burden on the NHS at this time, it was agreed that for the first year of the policy only, technologies must have also been previously supported by the Innovation Technology Payment.
The technologies that will be supported by the policy in 2021/22 are:
- placental growth factor based testing – a blood test to rule out pre-eclampsia in pregnant women
- SecurAcath – for securing percutaneous catheters
- HeartFlow – creates a 3D model of a patient’s coronary arteries and assesses the extent and location of blockages
- gammaCore – a handheld device which alleviates the symptoms of severe cluster headaches.
Once the policy becomes effective in April, the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) team will regularly review NICE guidance on medical technologies and diagnostics to identify medical devices, diagnostics and digital products which have been recommended by NICE and are likely to meet the MedTech Funding Mandate criteria in the following year, and highlight these to providers and commissioners.
Together with technology suppliers, the AAC will work with patients and delivery partners, the AHSN Network, to support NHS organisations to implement these innovations, to understand local and regional issues and to share learning from NHS organisations who have already implemented the innovations. This will help identify barriers to their uptake, such as duplicative procurement processes.
The AAC expects hospitals and commissioning organisations to comply with the policy guidance where appropriate. The AHSN delivery partners will work closely with commissioners, providers, clinicians, patient groups and others, to understand the impact of the policy and support its development.
Providers wishing to implement any of the supported technologies, please contact Health Innovation Manchester by emailing email@example.com , or alternatively contact the innovation team in the AAC via AAC.firstname.lastname@example.org, citing ‘MTFM’ in the subject line.
Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) - Programme closed
Delivered in partnership with the AHSNs, the Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) was an NHS England programme that ran up to April 2021, to accelerate adoption of innovative medical devices, diagnostics, and digital products by removing some of the financial and procurement barriers. Find out more