Innovators seeking to bring their products to the NHS are still facing a lengthy and complex process, with patients and clinicians missing out on the benefits provided by medical technology.
This is the warning from Medical Technology Group (MTG) in its latest Deja Review report, which follows an earlier publication in 2016 which called for a system-wide adoption of technologies and a focus on longer-term strategy and solutions to end the postcode lottery of access to medical technologies in the NHS.
A single pathway with a focus on value for the patient will streamline the process and open the system to an array of life-changing and life-saving medical technologies that will help transform our health service
However, barriers to the uptake of innovation still exist, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises, says the new report.
And, with the government prioritising innovation through its MedTech Strategy and the Sinker Innovation Review, the MTG has called for three recommendations to ensure the NHS can fully harness its benefits.
- Create a single pathway within the NHS for medical technologies, with easy-to-understand steps and processes and clear guidance on how medical technologies can be adopted in the NHS at pace and scale
- Enhance the weighting given to value within the assessment process for medical technologies, particularly on the value to the patient, to ensure that cost is not the single factor to consider when deciding on innovative technologies to approve for use in the NHS
- Support the adoption and spread of proven, effective medical technologies by ensuring effective payment mechanisms and support for spread within the NHS to ensure equitable access to medical technologies for patients across the country
Commenting on the report, chairman of the MTG, Barbara Harpham, said: “Medtech can play a key role in addressing the major challenges facing the NHS. It can help treat more people, reduce waiting lists, increase efficiency, and address staff shortages.
“There are positive signs the Government understands this, with greater funding and a new medtech strategy. There is, however, still work to do on the finer policy details of how the NHS commissions new technologies.
“These recommendations bring together our experience with industry members, patients, and local NHS bodies in seeking to overcome the innovation paralysis in the NHS.
“A single pathway with a focus on value for the patient will streamline the process and open the system to an array of life-changing and life-saving medical technologies that will help transform our health service.”
Click here to download the full report.