Ground-breaking treatments and technologies tackling key health issues such as cancer, dementia and obesity, are to be fast-tracked to NHS patients quicker than ever in a move welcomed by the Innovation Agency.
It follows the expansion of the recently created Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) which brings together the Government, NHS and industry leaders, streamlining national structures which support innovation in the NHS.
The AAC will accelerate the most promising medicines, diagnostic tools and digital services through the clinical development and regulatory approval process so patients can benefit as soon as possible.
It will act as the national front door for innovators looking to get their products funded by the NHS and it will provide a tailored package of support to overcome the barriers in the NHS which can prevent the best medical innovations from reaching patients.
Speeding up the time it takes for NHS patients to access the best innovations is a core part of the NHS Long Term Plan, which is backed by an extra £33.9 billion.
Part of the plan involves extra funding for the Innovation Agency and its 14 fellow Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to deliver Innovation Exchanges, finding the right support for innovative products, promoting regional adoption and spread and increasing health system collaboration.
Innovation Agency Chief Executive Dr Liz Mear said: “For the AHSNs acting as the agents for change on the ground, it is really exciting to see this strengthening of NHS structures and leadership to get innovations to patients, faster.
“We are already experiencing a bigger push from the centre to accelerate the move of new products from the lab bench to the bedside and I am looking forward to seeing the impact of our bold ambition on the people who matter most, our patients.”
The AAC has launched a number of ‘rapid uptake products’ to increase their uptake and use within the NHS, which are being supported by the Innovation Agency and all AHSNs. This includes a blood test for pre-eclampsia, which can diagnose the condition earlier in pregnancy and significantly reduce life-threatening complications.
Together the products have the potential to improve the lives of around 500,000 patients and save the NHS up to £30 million.