Faster access to treatment and new technology for 500,000 patients

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has announced £7 million in funding for 2 new programmes

Research in laboratory

Patients could benefit from faster access to treatment under 2 new programmes. The programmes will identify innovative technologies and treatments then speed up their uptake across the NHS.

£7 million in funding has been announced for ‘Test Bed’ projects across England that will help improve patient outcomes and the way NHS staff work.

The Test Beds programme is a joint programme between NHS England and government. It sees the NHS working with innovators using technology to address some of the biggest challenges in health and care.

The second wave of the Test Beds programme will take place in 7 locations across the country. Projects being tested include:

• the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver a more accurate and efficient breast cancer screening

• a new digital platform to help people to manage diabetes

• the combination of 3 new digital technologies to help reduce A&E admissions for patients with chronic long-term heart failure

A further £2 million will be available for ‘rapid uptake’ products. These are 7 proven innovative technologies that help to improve patients’ lives.

The ‘rapid uptake’ products include a range of treatments for conditions such as cancer, heart disease and multiple sclerosis.

The focus is on overcoming barriers to make their use across the NHS more widespread. Supporting these products will help 500,000 patients to access new treatments and save the NHS £30 million.

Through the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC), leaders in the health system have identified these products so that UK patients benefit from the world-class health innovations developed in this country first.

The investment also supports the ambition of the government’s modern industrial strategy to make Britain the best place in the world for innovators, including new treatments to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives through the Life Sciences Sector Deal.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:

"The UK is a world leader in medical and health research and we want to make sure patients are the first to benefit from the tech revolution happening across the NHS.

"Every day, innovative new treatments are demonstrating the power technology has to save lives – and I want to make these opportunities available across the whole NHS.

"These programmes will fast track innovations from lab bench to patient bedside and help ensure that NHS patients continue to be the first to benefit from the life-changing treatments developed in this country."

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

"From the first vaccine to the first blood transfusion, the UK has an unmatched reputation in medical research and innovation.

"This collaboration will rapidly bring life-saving products into real world clinical settings. Our modern industrial strategy builds on our unique strengths and heritage in medical research and innovation, not only creating new products and jobs but ensuring NHS patients are at the forefront of these technological advances."

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