Small products, big benefits: bringing MedTech innovations to south London

June 22, 2023


Post Title

HIN Senior Programme Manager Dom Norton writes about a national programme, called the MedTech Funding Mandate, and the impact it is having on patients in south London.

Did you know?

  • The translation of healthcare research into practice takes a long time: the estimated time is 17-20 years. But implementation support, through programmes such as the MTFM, can accelerate this. Find out more here.

At the HIN, we often work with our local hospital teams to introduce and spread the use of exciting new technologies, to ensure that everyone in south London is able to access the best in healthcare solutions. In this blog, I talk about the MedTech Funding Mandate (MTFM) which was launched by the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative in April 2021. As we come to the end of the programme's second year, I discuss the programme, two of the MTFM innovations, and reflect on the impact they are already having for patients in south London; these technologies do not always impact large patient cohorts, but for eligible patients they can be life-changing. Lastly, I briefly look ahead to future programmes and provide suggestions on how you can help.

Product case-studies

Case-study: GammaCore

Cluster headaches are a relatively rare type of headache, but the symptoms can be debilitating. The Migraine Trust describes them as “One of the most painful conditions someone can have.” gammaCore is a handheld device which alleviates the symptoms of cluster headaches by stimulating the vagus nerve. The treatment isn’t invasive or pharmacological and can be self-administered, unlike other treatments.

In the below video, some local clinicians from Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital NHS Trusts talk about the device and the benefit it is bringing to patients’ lives.

gammaCore is now available to patients at all south London neurology centres, with more than 40 patients already having accessed this life-changing treatment option. You can access more information on gammaCore, plus an in-depth video on the device and its benefits here.

Case-study: SecurAcath

Dislodged percutaneous catheters can cause pain, infections and complications. SecurAcath is a clip that helps secure these catheters, improving patient experience and reducing the need for re-insertions.

SecurAcath is now available to patients in south London at six of seven eligible trusts, with the remaining trust in the process of introducing the clip. With the volume of clips already ordered and in use since 2020, an estimated 100,000 fewer catheter-related infections are expected, and even more hospital appointments for re-insertions are expected to be avoided. You can access more information on SecurAcath here.

Why a national programme focusing on specific products?

One of the challenges we all face is the sheer volume of new healthcare solutions entering the market. NICE publishes guidance for over 100 new products per year, so which ones should we invest time in supporting? The benefit of national programmes such as the MTFM, with a robust product-selection processes, is that only products with the strongest evidence for effectiveness, patient benefit and cost saving make the cut.

We also know it can take a long time for newly-evidenced technologies to reach real clinical practice, and even longer to be taken up everywhere, leading to inequitable access. Our aim, through programmes like these, is to address this access gap.

Impact and looking forwards

The story of these first two years of the MTFM in south London is overwhelmingly a positive one: all technologies on the Mandate have been adopted by south London hospitals, and in most cases by all eligible trusts.

The really good news is that we have shown that we are able to work with partners across south London to rapidly bring new innovations into NHS hospitals; and similar success has been seen across England.

The MedTech Funding Mandate programme is now into its second round, with products supported in urology, ear, nose and throat, sickle cell disease and cardiothoracic surgery.

The department for health and social care has also recently published its first ever MedTech strategy, which highlights the important role MedTech played through the Covid-19 pandemic, and its potential for the future.

For more information, contact the AAC Programmes team on

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