AHSN welcomes Accelerated Access Review

The Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) has welcomed a national report aimed at speeding up patients’ access to innovative medicines, technologies and products.

Supported by and developed with the AHSN Network, the Accelerated Access Review proposes reforms to the UK health and care system and how it works with industry to address the barriers to adopting innovation.

Richard StubbsRichard Stubbs, interim Managing Director at Yorkshire & Humber AHSN, said: “The adoption of health innovation and increased use of technology is vital if the NHS is to create and deliver services fit for the future.

“The recommendations in this report are far-reaching and practical and will result in real benefits to patients, clinicians, the NHS and the wider UK economy.

“I welcome the increased role recommended for the AHSN Network as we continue to work with our local health providers and commissioners to implement new innovations and models of care at pace and scale.”

The NHS has huge potential to be creative and innovative yet the system as a whole is slow to adopt new ideas and best practice. This leads to avoidable variation in patient care and system inefficiencies.

The Accelerated Access Review says streamlined processes could bring forward patient access to drugs by up to four years and patients will benefit from quicker access to medical technologies too. It also recommends a simpler process for digital technologies, which are often developed by smaller companies, such as healthcare apps for managing long-term conditions.

Elements that will be supported by the AHSN Network include creating an improved pathway for getting new medical technologies, diagnostics and digital products into the NHS at pace. This builds on the successful NHS Innovation Accelerator, which in its first year has supported the adoption of innovation into 388 NHS organisations and helped secure more than £17m investment to help scale health innovation.

One such innovation already supported by the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN is episcissors-60. These are fixed angle scissors designed to take away human error in estimating episiotomy angles during childbirth. The scissors reduce the risk of obstetric injuries, which can have a devastating impact on the quality of a new mother’s life, by up to 20%. Trials suggest the use of scissors will create millions in savings to the NHS.

Other elements already supported by the AHSN Network include creating mutually beneficial partnerships between medtech, digital and pharmaceutical industries and the NHS to address local health needs.

Read the AAR press release here

Read the AHSN Network press release here