NHS England extends funding for new innovation projects

3D heart modelling and an advanced blood test to reduce heart attack diagnostic timescales are among the additional projects that will be offered to more patients

NHS England has confirmed it will extend funding for new health treatments and tests as part of efforts to fast track medical innovation and bring savings to the NHS.

The health service’s strategy to speed up proven innovation has already reached 300,000 patients, and over 400,000 more will benefit from innovations in 2019 with the extra resources, according to NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens.

Speaking at the Reform digital health conference in London on 5 June, Stevens outlined 10 new innovations being delivered under the NHS’ Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) programme that will be part of the expansion plans.

Launched in September 2018, the ITP was created to accelerate the adoption and spread of proven and affordable innovation in the health system, while removing financial and procurement barriers.

Overseen by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), the programme’s new innovations include HeartFlow, a 3D heart modelling system that helps clinicians to rapidly diagnose coronary disease and avoid the need for invasive procedures.

Gammacore, a handheld device that delivers mild electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve to block the pain signals that cause cluster headaches, is also part of the new innovations being supported by the additional funding.

Other innovations that had been previously selected and supported by the AAC include including a blood test for suspected pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.

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“This programme has been amazingly successful at getting new tests and treatments to patients, with over 300,000 patients benefitting already, and this year we have another great selection of proven innovations,” said Sam Roberts, AAC chief executive and director of innovation and life sciences for NHS England.

“We will build on this success with our commitments set out in the Long-Term Plan, to support the latest advances and make it easier for even more patients to benefit from world-class technology,” he said.

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