England’s 15 AHSNs are key members of the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), the umbrella organisation for UK healthcare innovation – the front door to support for innovators. It makes it easier for innovators to navigate the UK healthcare system, streamlines the development process for promising healthcare innovation, identifies gaps in the UK’s innovation support offer and gets breakthrough innovations into the NHS and to patients faster than previously.
The Oxford AHSN supports the adoption of innovations through its Innovation Exchange.
Rapid Uptake Products (RUP)
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 which target clinical priorities set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. The three RUPs supported in 2021/22 are:
- Lipid_management, a clinical pathway to help reduce cholesterol
- Asthma biologics, treatments for severe asthma (led by Oxford AHSN)
- FeNO testing, aiding asthma diagnosis
Pathway Transformation Fund (PTF)
The Pathway Transformation Fund (PTF) is available to help NHS organisations integrate RUPs into everyday practice. PTF will support projects to overcome barriers to deploying these products. In June 2021 almost £2.8m was made available to 51 projects in primary care, clinical commissioning groups and trusts across England including six projects in the Oxford AHSN region.
MedTech Funding Mandate (MTFM)
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 (MTFM) policy, which is delivered in partnership with AHSNs. Launched in April 2021 the MTFM supports four products:
- Placental growth factor based testing (PlGF) to rule out pre-eclampsia – the Oxford AHSN initiated this work
- SecurAcath – a device to secure peripherally inserted central catheters for medium to long stay patients
- HeartFlow FFRCT – estimates fractional flow reserve from coronary CT angiography for stable recent chest pain, avoiding invasive investigation and treatment
- gammaCore – non-invasive self-administered vagus nerve stimulator to treat and prevent cluster headaches
Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP)
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.