More than 230,000 patients have been supported during 2020/21 as a result of our work with the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC).
The AHSN Network is a key member of the AAC, an NHS England and NHS Improvement initiative to remove barriers and accelerate the introduction of groundbreaking new treatments and diagnostics to transform care.
We support NHS adoption of transformative technologies and medicines through the AAC’s Rapid Uptake Products (RUP) programmes and MedTech Funding Mandate (MTFM), and until April 2021 through the Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) programme.
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. The policy launched with four products in April 2021 and is delivered in partnership with AHSNs. The policy will select new innovations each new year. The four new products on the MedTech Funding Mandate were all previously part of the ITP programme, so the AHSNs have already supported some impressive impacts.
Supporting women’s health
More than 40,000 women have benefitted from a Placental Growth Factor (PlGF) blood test to help rule out pre-eclampsia quickly, so that pregnant women receive the most appropriate care. Pre-eclampsia is a common yet serious condition and complicates up to 1 in 20 pregnancies. PlGF tests have been adopted by 104 maternity units across England. Find out more.
Alleviating cluster headaches
41 trusts have adopted gammaCore, a handheld device that alleviates the symptoms of severe cluster headaches. The device is held against the neck and delivers a low-level electric current to block pain signals, relieving pain.
One to two in every 1,000 people have cluster headaches, and during 2021/21 336 patients have used the device. After a successful two-year trial, gammaCore is being expanded.
Solving catheter securement issues
Over 77,000 SecurAcath devices have been adopted across 100 trusts in England during 2021/21. These devices help secure percutaneous (through the skin) catheters, without the need for sutures or adhesives.
Patients can experience several complications when peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) are moved or dislodged at the insertion site. During weekly routine dressing changes, the adhesive dressings are removed, leaving the catheter unsecured and at risk of movement and migration, which can lead to serious impacts on patients.
Improving treatment of cardiovascular disease
In the last year, more than 6,300 tests have been performed nationally using HeartFlow, which helps clinicians rapidly diagnose patients with suspected coronary artery disease. The innovation creates a 3D model of the coronary arteries to help clinicians to rapidly diagnose patients with suspected coronary artery disease. Find out more
The RUP programme has been designed to enable stronger adoption and spread of proven innovations. It identifies and supports products with NICE approval that align to the NHS Long Term Plan’s key clinical priorities, but have lower than expected uptake to date.
The 2020/21 programme builds on the successes of the 2019/20 RUP programme, with themes selected via an open, staged, selection process.
Diagnosing and treating severe asthma
FeNO (fractional exhaled nitric oxide) is a point of care test to measure type two inflammation in airways, which augments and supports the accuracy of asthma diagnosis.
Over 9,000 patients have been prescribed Biologics for treating severe asthma during 2020/21. This 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.
Tamoxifen for the chemoprevention of breast cancer
For people at known risk of breast cancer, the RUP Tamoxifen can halve the risk of breast cancer when taken over five years. The aim of this innovation is to improve patient care and outcomes, and ultimately prevent avoidable breast cancer.
The RUP for lipid management clinical pathway aims to improve a person’s lipid profile by reducing cholesterol concentration in the 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). Bempedoic acid and inclisiran will be added to the pathway later in 2021.