The Accelerated Access Collaborative

The Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) was formed in response to the independently-chaired Accelerated Access Review published in October 2016.  The AAC brings industry, government and the NHS together to remove barriers to uptake of innovations, so that NHS patients have faster access to innovations that can transform care.

The AAC chair is Professor Lord Darzi, and sits alongside the Life Sciences Council.

Rapid uptake products

The rapid uptake products are:

  • HeartFlow analysis creates a 3D model of the coronary arteries to help clinicians to rapidly diagnose patients with suspected coronary artery disease from coronary CT angiography.
  • Urolift is a minimally invasive procedure for treating lower urinary tract symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
  • Placental growth factor (PIGF) based tests help predict the risk of pre-eclampsia quickly so that pregnant women receive the most appropriate care.
  • High sensitivity troponin tests are used in an early rule out protocol for patients with suspected myocardial infarction.
  • Quantitative faecal immunochemical tests (FIT) support patient risk assessment in suspected colorectal cancer.
  • Cladribine is an oral treatment given as two treatment courses, one year apart, for treating highly active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in adults.
  • PCSK9 inhibitors for treatment of very high cholesterol are used together with a statin-type cholesterol-lowering medicine, or in those who are unable to take or tolerate a statin.

The Latest News on the AAC – Pathway Transformation Fund

Funding announced by government in July 2017 is available through the new Accelerated Access Collaborative Pathway Transformation Fund (PTF) to help NHS organisations integrate the rapid uptake products into everyday practices. Delivered with the support of the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) the PTF seeks to improve equality of access to these products.

The PTF can help providers overcome practical obstacles to deploying these products, such as: training staff on how to use new equipment; pathway redesign and/or business support expertise; providing specialist nurses/clinical staff needed to implement a new part of the procedure; or covering double running costs.

Phase Two

After the success of phase one we are pleased to open Phase 2 applications.  This will focus on five of the AAC rapid uptake products: UroLift, placental growth factor-based testing, high-sensitivity troponin testing in an under 3-hour protocol, HeartFlow and PCSK9 inhibitors.

Phase two will close midnight on 31 October 2019. We strongly encourage any Providers wishing to adopt any of these five rapid uptake products to apply.

To request an application form please contact your local AHSN in the first instance to discuss with the relevant AHSN lead for each product.  If you are unsure of your local AHSN please email info@ahsnnetwork.com for clarification

Phase One

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 3-hour protocol). 29 applications were received and over £370,000 is being made immediately available across the 16 projects that have been approved. This funding will support in areas such as:

  • Supporting quality improvement programmes.
  • Creating learning sets and delivering coaching to address change management challenges.
  • Funding clinical champions to act as systems leaders to embed the rapid uptake product and associated processes across professional groups.
  • Support to set-up costs such as training and accreditation of staff.

For further enquiries please contact england.innovation@nhs.net.

ACC Board

The AAC board met in June 2019 and agreed the following:

  • Priority areas of focus for the next twelve months.
  • A set of categories of products for support at early-stage development.
  • How success would be measured for its goal of making the UK the most pro-innovation health system in the world.

The minutes and papers from the public-element of the board meeting have been published.

The six key deliverables for the AAC in 2019/20, aligned to the priority areas of focus for the board, are as follows:

  • Launch of a portal signposting funding, advisory support, and evidentiary requirements to innovators.
  • Bespoke support of categories of early stage products.
  • Launch of a single horizon-scanning platform across all partners.
  • Pilot expanded real-world testing within NHS, leveraging private capital.
  • Significant spread of AAC rapid uptake products, Innovation and Technology Payment products, and AHSN national programmes.
  • Implementation of the funding mandate for devices, diagnostics and digital products.

How will we measure our success?

To ensure that our support remains effective, the AAC will continuously monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of its support. At its most recent meeting, the AAC Board agreed an interim approach to measuring its impact during 2019/20 – including measuring the uptake, clinical outcomes and calculated return on investment for AAC designated products.

By 2020, the AAC will ensure that its longer term approach to measuring its success aligns with existing and evolving innovation measures. This will be key to measuring the AAC’s contribution in making the NHS one of the most pro-innovative in the word.

Further information

The AAC Board will meet next on 23 October 2019.

Expanded remit of the AAC

Recognising the role of cross-sector partnership in accelerating access to transformative healthtech, the remit of the AAC has increased, to become the umbrella body across the UK health innovation eco-system, providing more joined-up support for innovators and setting the strategy for innovation in the health system.

The AAC supports innovation at all stages across the development pipeline: from research and horizon scanning for innovations that address the population’s needs, to support for adoption and spread of proven innovations.

AAC priorities

Identifying and supporting the uptake and adoption of the best, proven innovations will remain a key function of the AAC’s remit.  However, partners across the system agree that there is more to do to achieve our vision to make the UK one of the most pro-innovation healthcare systems in the world.

The priorities for the ‘boosted’ AAC are:

  • Creating a “single front door” to the innovation ecosystem: An online portal with information, support, and signposting that links to existing teams that provide more detailed advice on certain aspects of the innovation pipeline.
  • Establishing a single horizon scanning approach to identify the best new innovations, so that the UK’s health services has an idea of what is coming down the track and is aligned and prepared to support them;
  • Developing an approach to local and national demand signalling, sending clear signals to the market about what the NHS needs, or the problems it is facing and would like the market to address;
  • Establishing globally leading testing infrastructure that provides the necessary opportunities for innovators to develop and improve their products, collaborate with the NHS, and establish the high-quality evidence that clinicians need for adoption and spread;
  • Improving the quality of adoption and spread support for the best new innovations, to deliver on the innovation commitments in the NHS Long Term Plan and the second Life Sciences Sector Deal, including through better join­ up between the AAC and Specialised Commissioning,
  • Deliver better practical innovation support funding in line with HMG’s health innovation funding strategy.

NHS England and NHS Improvement host the new AAC

To support this vision, a new dedicated unit was established within NHS England and NHS Improvement, with responsibility for coordinating activities across the various AAC partner organisations and driving forward the AAC’s priorities.

The unit has an integrated innovation and medicines senior management team in NHS England and NHS Improvement, bringing together the coordination of medicines policy, commercial agreement and broader innovation policy and delivery. In May, Dr Sam Roberts was announced as the AAC’s new Chief Executive.

The AAC board, chaired by Lord Darzi, includes representation from the following patient groups, government bodies, industry, and NHS bodies:

  • NHS England / NHS Improvement
  • the Department of Health and Social Care
  • the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
  • the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
  • the Academic Health Science Networks
  • the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries
  • the Association of British HealthTech Industries
  • the Association of Medical Research Charities
  • NHSX
  • the Bio Industry Association
  • National Voices