The MedTech funding mandate

The NHS Long Term Plan committed to accelerate the uptake of selected innovative medical devices, diagnostics and digital products to patients faster, by developing the MedTech Funding Mandate policy.

The proposal for this policy was consulted on in December 2019 with patient representatives, NHS providers, commissioners, charities, academics, delivery partners, consultants, independent health providers and industry. The MedTech Funding Mandate policy received strong support with clear recommendations on the criteria for inclusion technologies. The consultation report is available here.

The MedTech Funding Mandate policy launched on the 1 April 2021. The guidance for 2021/22 is published here.

In 2021/22 the policy will support devices, diagnostics or digital products that:

  • are effective: demonstrated through positive NICE guidance;
  • deliver material savings to the NHS: the benefits of the innovation are over £1 million over five years for the population of England;
  • are cost-saving in-year: NICE modelling demonstrates a net saving in the first 12 months of implementing the technology;
  • are affordable to the NHS: the budget impact should not exceed £20 million, in any of the first three years.

To minimise burden on the NHS at this time, it was agreed that for the first year of the policy only, technologies must have also been previously supported by the Innovation Technology Payment.

The technologies that will be supported by the policy in 2021/22 are:

  1. placental growth factor based testing – a blood test to rule out pre-eclampsia in pregnant women
  2. SecurAcath – for securing percutaneous catheters
  3. HeartFlow – creates a 3D model of a patient’s coronary arteries and assesses the extent and location of blockages
  4. gammaCore – a handheld device which alleviates the symptoms of severe cluster headaches

In 2021/22 all technologies covered by the MedTech Funding Mandate are CCG commissioned.

Once the policy becomes effective in April, the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) team will regularly review NICE guidance on medical technologies and diagnostics to identify medical devices, diagnostics and digital products which have been recommended by NICE and are likely to meet the MedTech Funding Mandate criteria in the following year, and highlight these to providers and commissioners.

Together with technology suppliers we will work with patients and our delivery partners, the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to support NHS organisations to implement these innovations, to understand local and regional issues and to share learning from NHS organisations who have already implemented the innovations. This will help identify barriers to their uptake, such as duplicative procurement processes.

We expect hospitals and commissioning organisations to comply with the policy guidance where appropriate. We will ask our AHSN delivery partners to work closely with commissioners, providers, clinicians, patient groups and others, to understand the impact of the policy and support its development.

Providers wishing to implement any of the supported technologies should contact their regional AHSN. Alternatively for more information contact the innovation team in the AAC via AAC.innovation@nhs.net, citing ‘MTFM’ in the subject line.

In addition you can watch Matt Whitty, Director of Innovation, Research and Life Sciences and Chief Executive of AAC, and other policy leaders, discussing the MedTech Funding Mandate policy’s introduction here. The videos provide an overview of the policy and the financial flow between NHS England and NHS Improvement, Trusts and CCGs, as well as an introduction to the first four products supported.