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NHS England Innovation & Technology Payment

The NHS England Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) was launched by NHS England in June 2017, and built on the existing Innovation and Technology Tariff (ITT). It was designed to support the NHS to adopt innovation by removing financial or procurement barriers to the uptake of products and technologies, and was delivered in partnership with the AHSNs, along with other sponsors and national and international experts. The aim was to enable successful applicants’ innovations (such as medical devices, digital platforms and technologies) to be fast tracked for use in the NHS.

Applications for innovations to be included in the ITP were invited between June and September 2017.  270 applications were received, and through a sifting process reduced to a shortlist of 20 which went through to the selection panel in December 2017.  4 innovations were selected for national roll out and 1 was identified for national pilot.

Successful innovations from this year’s ITP are:

  • HeartFlow – Advanced image analysis software that creates a 3D model of the coronary arteries and analyses the impact that blockages have on blood flow to rapidly diagnose patients with suspected coronary artery disease. The use of the device can avoid the need for invasive investigations such as coronary angiography, usually carried out under local anaesthetic, where a catheter is passed through the blood vessels to the heart to release a dye before X-rays are taken. NICE estimate up to 35,000 people per year could be eligible.
  • Plus Sutures – A new type of surgical suture – stitching – that reduces the rate of surgery-linked infection (surgical site infection) such as MRSA, through the use of antimicrobial suture packs. There were 823 cases of MRSA reported in the NHS in 2016/17.
  • Endocuff Vision – A new type of ‘bowel scope’ that improves colorectal examination for patients undergoing bowel cancer tests. Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in England with 34,000 people diagnosed each year. For every 1,000 people screened for cancer, it is estimated that six cases could be avoided thanks to early detection through the use of this device.
  • SecurAcath – A device to secure catheters that reduces the infection risk for patients with a peripherally inserted central catheter. The use of this equipment helps to reduce the time taken to care and treat dressing changes. This type of catheter is normally used in people needing intravenous access for several weeks or months in both inpatient and outpatient settings. NICE estimate up to 120,000 people per year could be eligible.

In an effort to tackle the problem of missed hospital appointments NHS England will also support DrDoctor, a digital tool to help patients’ view, change and schedule appointments, to demonstrate its potential in a real world setting.

The programme

  • The Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) builds on the Innovation and Technology Tariff (ITT) and aims to support the NHS in adopting innovation by removing financial or procurement barriers to uptake of innovative products or technologies.
  • It is a competitive process to identify innovations and technologies that will offer the greatest quality and efficiency benefits with wider adoption.
  • The ITP is looking to support medical devices, digital platforms and technologies. The programme is not suitable for pharmaceutical products or research projects.
  • We aim to select a range of cost effective innovations within our budgetary confines in order to have a wide-reaching impact on patient care, and maximise learning from the programme while fostering culture change.
  • The ITP programme forms part of a wider set of activities to support innovation in the NHS, led by NHS England with the AHSNs.
  • The ITP is specifically focused on low cost innovations which can deliver significant patient outcomes and savings to the NHS.
  • The programme will be delivered in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), sponsors, national and international experts.
  • Applicants can be from healthcare, academia, commercial or voluntary sectors.
  • The implementation of any agreed payment mechanism or procurement will be operational from April 2018.
  • Day-to-day support and reporting will be via NHS England’s Innovation and Research Unit.

So far, the ITP is in use in 100 NHS organisations, reaching over 74,000 patients and starting to gather valuable data on outcomes.