The AAC, MTFM, PTF & RUPs

The Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) aims to make the process of getting transformative technologies to patients quicker, cheaper and easier for innovators and the NHS.

The government and its partners, of which the AHSN NENC is one, aim to bring forward patient access to selected, highly beneficial and affordable innovations. The AAC supports all types of innovations: medicines, diagnostics, devices, digital products, pathway changes and new workforce models.

 

Read more about the AAC here

 

 

The MedTech Funding Mandate (MTFM) is an NHS Long Term Plan commitment to get selected NICE-approved cost-saving devices, diagnostics and digital products to NHS patients more quickly. The policy launched on 1 April 2021. After the first year of the new policy, new guidance was published for 2022/23. Access the policy guidance here.

The policy supports devices, diagnostics or digital products that:

  • are effective and improve patient outcomes, demonstrated through positive NICE guidance;
  • are cost-saving within three years: NICE modelling demonstrates a net saving within three years of implementing the technology;
  • are affordable to the NHS: the budget impact should not exceed £20 million, in any of the first three years.

The policy defines a list of NICE-approved technologies that NHS commissioners and providers are mandated to agree local funding arrangements for through their existing allocations. This is to ensure healthcare providers across England enable equitable access to patients.

The policy has three key objectives:

  • Ensure equity in healthcare provision is achieved by monitoring patient access to the supported technologies across the NHS in England.
  • Direct the NHS to the medical technology innovations that are most effective and likely to give savings on investment.
  • Support the NHS to develop a sustainable approach to overcoming the financial barriers to adopting medical devices, diagnostics and digital products.

The MTFM policy is an NHS England initiative, delivered with the support of the 15 AHSNs who work closely with their local ICSs.

Technologies included in the 2022/23 policy:

The technologies included in the MTFM 2022/23 policy are categorised into the following two themes:

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – a common condition in ageing men and others with a prostate (trans women, some non-binary and some intersex people). It is commonly treated with the surgical procedure, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) which usually requires the patient to stay in hospital for one to three days. The following four less invasive innovations allow patients with BPH to be treated as day cases and have seen increased utilisation over the last four-five years. However, as recognised by the GIRFT urology team, there is still an opportunity to increase utilisation of these four innovations, particularly in the context of elective recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.

The four BPH technologies are:

  • Greenlight XPS – uses a laser to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate.
  • Rezum – uses water vapour to destroy excess prostate tissue.
  • PLASMA System – uses electrodes to cut out prostate tissue.
  • UroLift – lifts and holds the enlarged prostate tissue away from the urethra, relieving the compression of this organ.

Improving the patient experience during procedures – using technology can provide more efficiency, improved outcomes and in some cases offer less invasive alternatives.

Three technologies are:

  • Spectra Optia – apheresis and cell collection platform for people with sickle cell disease who require automated red cell exchange.
  • XprESS Multi Sinus Dilation System – a sterile, single-use device for treating chronic sinusitis with a dilating balloon.
  • Thopaz+ – a portable digital chest drain system which accurately monitors and records air leak and fluid drainage.

Thopaz+ and Spectra Optia use digital technology to increase efficiency and improve outcomes compared to the alternatives, whilst XprESS is a minimally invasive alternative to invasive sinus surgery.

Technologies receiving continued support from the 2021/22 policy are:

  • Placental growth factor-based testing (PlGF) – 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.

Pathway Transformation Fund

The AHSN Network is supporting the Accelerated Access Collaborative Pathway Transformation Fund (PTF), which was announced by government in July 2017.

Funding announced by government in July 2017 is available through the new Pathway Transformation Fund (PTF) to help NHS organisations integrate the rapid uptake products (RUPs) into everyday practice. Delivered with the support of the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), and in partnership with the rapid uptake product suppliers, the PTF seeks to improve access to these products.

The PTF can help providers overcome practical obstacles to introducing these products, such as:

  • support set-up costs such as training and accreditation of staff
  • pathway redesign and/or business support expertise
  • providing funding for specialist nurses and clinical staff needed to implement a new part of the procedure
  • covering double running costs

Read more about the PTF here

 

Rapid Update 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 2021/22 programme builds on the successes of the previous cycle, with themes selected via an open, staged, selection process. Below is an introduction to each of the workstreams and a link to further information.

Lipid Management: High Intensity Statins, Ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors

Measuring fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) concentration in asthma: products NIOX VERO and NObreath

Asthma Biologics for treating severe asthma: Reslizumab, Benralizumab, Mepolizumab and Omalizumab

Read more about the RUPs here