Last month I published my interim report for the Accelerated Access Review. It sets out 5 propositions to achieve my vision of speeding up access to transformative health technology, by which we mean drugs, devices, diagnostics and digital health products that can help change the lives of NHS patients. It was informed by over 600 people and organisations working right across the development pathway, including clinicians, patients, the life sciences industry and researchers.
I want to thank you for your input, which was fundamental in shaping the 5 propositions that underpin our interim report.
Proposition 1: putting the patient centre stage
You told us that patients were vital at every step of the innovation pathway and that they needed to be supported to better understand and drive forward decisions about their treatment and care. That’s why we’ve put patients front and centre of the review through our first proposition, which will systematically facilitate patient feedback on and awareness of innovative products, as well as give innovators better opportunities to hear from patients about the innovations they want and need.
Propositions 2 and 3: ‘getting ahead of the curve’ and ’ supporting all innovators’
You told us that we needed to adapt if our health and care system is to properly realise the benefits of 21st century innovation. You were clear that innovators of all sizes needed more clarity on what was expected of them throughout the pathway, and that we needed to use our world-class agencies and systems more flexibly to drive change.
In response, our second proposition outlines how transformative innovations could be better supported through a rapid access pathway at a national level, with tailored advice, managed access, clear designations of promise and increased funding flexibilities. More widely, proposition 3 explores how the system can provide all innovators with better support and advice, particularly at the point of entry to the system but also right across the innovation pathway.
Proposition 4: galvanising the NHS
You showed us many examples of where the NHS has been slow to adopt innovation - but also helped us explore times when this has not been the case, identifying the main drivers of rapid adoption and diffusion of new products.
You told us that financial incentives are crucial in the implementation of new products that disrupt existing services, as are capability and capacity for system re-engineering. As a result, our fourth proposition explores possible models for a new fund and wider practical support for system redesign. You also highlighted the importance of leadership in this landscape, and so we will look further at how to incentivise leading providers and commissioners to be champions of change.
Proposition 5: delivering change
You said that there needed to be architecture built into the system to provide accountability for delivering change, while also emphasising that this should not be done through the creation of new bodies. Our fifth proposition will address this by providing innovators with local innovation exchanges co-ordinated by the existing Academic Health Science Networks, and ensuring that they have strong links to a national innovation partnership made up of bodies already essential to the innovation pathway.
During this phase of the review until the beginning of January, we need your continued input as I work with my review team to flesh out these propositions in ways that will be effective and will make a real and lasting difference to patients, system users, business and the NHS. You can find out how to continue taking part in the Review on our engagement website.