NICE has developed a medtech innovation briefing (MIB) on the S‑Cath System for suprapubic catheterisations.

The S‑Cath System is intended for use in people for whom a suprapubic catheter is indicated, and differs from conventional suprapubic catheters because a guidewire (the Seldinger technique) is used for improved placement. The available evidence is of limited quantity and quality. Three non‑comparative studies suggest that suprapubic catheterisation using the S‑Cath System is a safe procedure when carried out under appropriate conditions in a dedicated outpatient clinic, with low complication rates. In 1 of these studies, suprapubic catheterisation was moved from an inpatient to an outpatient setting. This was shown to be cost saving, however it is unclear if the S‑Cath System was a significant factor in these savings. The S‑Cath System costs between £36.39 and £41.92 (excluding VAT and carriage) depending on catheter size and type. The instructions for use state that the catheter is suitable for use for up to 12 weeks.

A Rapid Response Report by the National Patient Safety Agency (2009) recommends that ultrasound is used wherever possible to visualise the bladder and guide the insertion of suprapubic catheters. Ultrasound machines should be available in the relevant areas and staff trained in their use.

MIBs provide a description of the medical technology, including its likely place in therapy, the costs of using the technology and a critical review of the strengths and weaknesses of the relevant published evidence.

Their purpose is to provide objective information on device and diagnostic technologies to aid local decision-making by clinicians, managers and procurement professionals. By making this information available, NICE helps to avoid the need for NHS organisations to produce similar information for local use.

MIBs are not NICE guidance. They differ in format, contain no judgement on the value of the technology and do not constitute a guidance recommendation.

MIBs are commissioned by NHS England and produced in support of the NHS 5 Year Forward View, specifically as one of a number of steps which will accelerate innovation in new treatments and diagnostics.