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.
Expanded remit of the AAC
Recognising the role of cross-sector partnership in accelerating access to transformative healthtech, the remit of the AAC is increasing, 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 expanded AAC will support 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.
NHS England and NHS Improvement hosting the new AAC
To support this vision, a new dedicated unit is being established within NHS England and NHS Improvement.
On Thursday 2 May 2019, Baroness Nicola Blackwood, Parliamentary Under-secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, announced that the remit of the AAC will expand, and that a new AAC will be hosted by NHS England and NHS Improvement.
She unveiled Dr Sam Roberts as Chief Executive of the new AAC, which will have close links with government as well as specialised commissioning. Sam will combine this with her current role, as the Director of Innovation and Life Sciences at NHS England and NHS Improvement,
The AAC board will have representation from patient groups, government, industry, and the NHS, and include leaders from:
- NHS England and 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 National Institute for Health Research
- the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
- the Academic Health Science Networks
- the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
- the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries
- the Association of British HealthTech Industries
- National Voices
The new AAC’s vision is to make the NHS the most pro-innovation health system in the world.
Aligned with the commitments in the NHS Long Term Plan and the government’s Life Sciences Sector Deal, the AAC focus will initially be on delivering six priorities:
- Implement a system to identify the best new innovations at the beginning of their development journey, making sure the NHS is ready to make use of them;
- Establish a single point of call for innovators working inside or outside the NHS, so they can understand the system and where to go for support
- Signal the needs of clinicians and patients, so innovators know which problems they need to solve
- Establish a globally leading testing infrastructure, so innovators can generate the evidence they need to get their products into the NHS
- Agree a joint funding strategy for all health innovation in England, so innovators can receive the right support at the right time
- Support the NHS to become stronger in its adoption of all innovations, to ensure patients get access to the best new innovations faster than ever before
Impact so far, and next steps
The AAC has already had made significant progress towards getting the best innovations to patients quicker, at a better cost for the NHS, and with a better experience for innovators.
In its first year, the AAC identified twelve proven products with already within the system with the potential for high impact. These ‘rapid uptake products’ will be supported to scale and spread with local support from Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and will enable patients with conditions such as cancer, heart disease and multiple sclerosis to access these technologies faster.
The AAC will also build a single horizon scanning infrastructure, spanning both the research and innovation pipeline, to identify healthtech and trends that will meet the needs of the population and the NHS.