Medtech devices and apps will for the first time be included under NHS national payment rules helping to accelerate uptake, NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens has announced today. The commitment to create a new Innovation and Technology Tariff was announced by Mr Stevens in June.
Now following clinical review, the first six innovations have today been selected as part of a new Innovation and Technology Tariff, benefiting women giving birth, patients with chronic lung problems, men having urological surgery, and acutely ill inpatients. NHS England is also, in parallel, backing new mobile technology solutions for diagnosing heart problems.
The new Innovation and Technology tariff will help cut the hassle experienced by clinicians and innovators in getting uptake and spread across the NHS. It will remove the need for multiple local price negotiations, and instead guarantee automatic reimbursement when an approved innovation is used, while at the same time allowing NHS England to negotiate national ‘bulk buy’ price discounts on behalf of hospitals, GPs and patients.
NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said: “The NHS has a proud track record of world firsts in medical innovation but getting wide uptake has often been far too slow. Our new payment system brings clarity on fast track funding to get groundbreaking new treatments and technologies to NHS patients. Many of them not only improve care but will save the NHS money too.”
The innovation categories that subject to approval will join the national NHS payment scheme are:
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Arterial connecting systems to reduce bacterial contamination and the accidental administration of medication – Although rare, accidental injection of intravenous medication into an arterial line can lead to catastrophic injuries which sometimes require major amputations. Innovations that ensure this does not happen will increase patient safety in NHS hospitals.
Medtech devices and apps will be included under NHS national payment rules for the first time in order to speed up uptake, NHS England announced today.
Six new innovations were chosen for the innovation and technology tariff (ITT). From 1 April, NHS England will buy them nationally instead of locally and guarantee automatic reimbursement when an approved innovation is used.
The innovations are:
- Guided mediolateral episiotomy scissors to minimise the risk of obstetric injury
- Arterial connecting systems to reduce bacterial contamination and the accidental administration of medication into arteries
- Pneumonia prevention systems which are designed to stop patients on ventilators developing ventilator-associated pneumonia
- Web-based applications for the self-management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Frozen microbiota transplantation, to cure recurrent Clostridium difficile infection rates and reduce antibiotic usage
- Prostatic urethral lift systems to treat lower urinary tract symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia
Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “The NHS has a proud track record of world firsts in medical innovation but getting wide uptake has often been far too slow.
“Our new payment system brings clarity on fast track funding to get groundbreaking new treatments and technologies to NHS patients. Many of them not only improve care but will save the NHS money too.”
Peter Ellingworth, chief executive of the Association of British Healthcare Industries, added that the new approach from NHS England will help ensure a “robust, accessible and effective scheme that provides timely patient access to a wide range of medical technologies”.
“We look forward to working with NHS England to implement these changes – and helping to develop an expanded scheme for 2018-19,” he said.
NHS England will evaluate the impact of the ITT in improving patient outcomes and increased efficiency across the NHS. It then plans to expand the number of innovations covered by the tariff for future years, through a wider scheme that has been designed with industry, the NHS and the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).
Dr Liz Mear, chair of the AHSN Network, said: “AHSNs and their partners provide a key role in getting new treatment innovations adopted into the NHS for the benefit of patients and the population.”
She added that the AHSN Network has worked with NHS England to support the introduction of the ITT, and “will support NHS organisations wanting to embrace innovation to help them get the latest medtech devices and services to their patients as quickly as possible”.
In addition, NHS England announced central funding for CCGs to purchase mobile ECG devices, which patients can use to identify and measure arterial fibrillation through mobile ECG technology, helping prevent strokes.