Funding announced by government in July 2017 is available through the new Pathway Transformation Fund (PTF) to help NHS organisations integrate the rapid uptake products into everyday practice. Delivered with the support of the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), and in partnership with the rapid uptake product suppliers, the PTF seeks to improve access to these products.
The PTF can help providers overcome practical obstacles to introducing these products, such as:
- support set-up costs such as training and accreditation of staff;
- pathway redesign and/or business support expertise;
- providing funding for specialist nurses and clinical staff needed to implement a new part of the procedure; and
- covering double running costs.
The first phase supported three of the AAC rapid uptake products (UroLift, placental growth factor-based testing and high-sensitivity troponin testing in an under three-hour protocol). More than £370,000 has been made available across the 16 projects approved.
Applications for phase two closed on 31 October 2019. This phase has focused on the rapid uptake products supported in phase one plus HeartFlow and PCSK9 inhibitors.
Phase three of the Pathway Transformation Fund (PTF) will support the 2021/22 Rapid Uptake Products (RUPs):
- Lipid Management: High Intensity Statins, Ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors
- Measuring fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) concentration in asthma: products NIOX VERO and NObreath
- Biologics for treating severe asthma: Reslizumab, Benralizumab, Mepolizumab and Omalizumab
The application cycle for products 1-3 has now closed and 51 projects worth almost £2.8 million have been supported.
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More about the Pathway Transformation Fund (PTF) and how to apply
Our Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) partners are supporting interested sites in developing PTF applications. Please contact your local AHSN Project Manager for support with your application, and for advice about the opportunity and application process. You will also be provided with a product specific guidance outlining what the product team’s priority objectives are and the types of applications that they are interested in receiving.
Please outline whether you have spoken to and what engagement you’ve had with your local supplier or industry contacts within your PTF proposal. Explicit statements of support from any supplier of these products is not required.
Yes. Projects cannot exceed a value of £250,000 regardless of number of sites involved, number of products or duration. With the funds available and number of products to support, we can only support a small number of large value projects and so applicants should consider the likelihood of being successful when submitting large value bids.
Applications close at midday on the date stated at the bottom of the application form. We cannot consider late applications as there are multiple onward steps, involving a significant volume of work that must be completed in tight succession.
This will depend upon the value of the projects. If the two projects have a low combined value, then it would be preferable for them to be submitted as one single application. If the two projects have a high combined value, but still less than the £250,000 maximum, then they could still submit one application, but the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) will only be able to fund a small number of high value projects.
Projects should last no longer than 12 months from the point that they start. The PTF is an annual fund, intended as a way of introducing pathway change and as such submissions should not be proposing projects over an extended period. Projects of a longer duration may be approved by exception but would have to have an extremely compelling case to be successful.
PTF can be used to procure medical equipment required to implement the rapid uptake products where there is a compelling case for that from the NHS provider which aligns with the priorities of the rapid uptake product project as outlined in the accompanying guidance.
Yes. The provision must be clearly outlined within the application from the NHS provider. The NHS organisation submitting the application holds responsibility for delivery of the goals and outcomes stated.
Yes. Requests for backfill should be clearly explained (e.g. what type of role, the time assumed and how this relates to activities to be achieved). Requests should be proportionate and reasonable to the scope of the project proposed and assumed number of patients that will benefit. Applications should also carefully consider how this capacity will be funded sustainably if still needed after the project and PTF support has ended.
A scoring panel made up of an AAC manager, AHSN product lead and clinical representative will score the applications. A senior review panel then meets to look at scores and recommendations from across all products to ensure a reasonable distribution of funds across products and geographies and considering the number of patients that stand to benefit. As such there may be instances where it is not simply a case of taking the top scored products up to the value of the funds available, as equity of funding allocation must be considered.
Your AHSN will be in contact with you throughout your project. There is a national monitoring tracker where the progress and status of all projects is reported and fed-back to the National Adoption Production Oversight Group every other month. This is a formal scrutiny committee made up of AAC, AHSN and other stakeholder members.
Yes. You are required to submit a report no later then 3 months after the conclusion of your project. A mandatory format template for this will be shared with you at the time of contracting. Sites are welcome to provide additional evaluation / information outside of this, but the template must be completed in all cases. These evaluation forms will be used for informing senior stakeholders of the impact and benefits delivered from the investment made.
North East and North Cumbria (NENC) AHSN act as the contracting partner for the PTF funds. They will reach out to you to provide a contract and the evaluation form you will be required to complete once your project has been completed. The contracting process with NENC must be completed within 3 months of the offer being made. We strongly recommend all successful applicants complete their contracting activities as quickly as possible. You will then be required to start the project within 3 months of contracting being finalised. We hope that in most cases contracting and commencement timescales will be much quicker.
Payments will be made in instalments according to the value of the project in order to ensure robust financial governance. A final payment will be made once the evaluation report has been returned and signed off as satisfactory. The scheduling and amount of each instalment will be discussed with you by your local AHSN who will then notify NENC AHSN of what has been agreed.