We are delighted by the announcement by NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens, in early November, that four of the six devices and digital interventions for the National Innovation and Technology Tariff will be drawn from the NHS Innovation Accelerator.
The six chosen innovations will benefit women giving birth, patients with chronic lung problems, men having urological surgery, and acutely ill inpatients. The products currently face further commercial and regulatory checks, and were selected after a clinical review and assessment process involving NHS England, NICE and the UCLPartners.
The new tariff means that medtech devices and apps will for the first time be included under NHS national payment rules, helping to accelerate uptake in the health and care system. This will remove the need for multiple local price negotiations, and instead guarantee automatic reimbursement when an approved innovation is used. At the same time, it will allow NHS England to negotiate national ‘bulk buy’ price discounts on behalf of hospitals, GPs and patients.
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. As a national network we have worked with NHS England to support the introduction of the Innovation and Technology tariff 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.”
The Innovation and Technology Tariff will apply from April next year, and its impact will be evaluated. A wider scheme is already being planned for 2018-19 and beyond.
The NHS Innovation Accelerator is led by NHS England, delivered in partnership with the country’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (hosted by UCLPartners) who facilitate and support health innovators with getting their innovation rolled out across the NHS.