The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is to play an even greater role in helping the NHS to adopt innovative technologies, such as surgical implants and diagnostic and monitoring devices, which have already demonstrated clear benefits to patients. NHS England has commissioned the Institute to take over the work of the NHS Technology Adoption Centre (NTAC).
The centre was established in 2007 to enable organisations to better understand and overcome barriers that prevent them from adopting new technologies. A key part of the organisation's work was to engage directly with industry and the NHS and to support products evaluated by NICE's Medical Technologies guidance programme.
Following approval by the Department of Health, the five-strong team at the centre has joined NICE to become the Health Technologies Adoption Programme (HTAP).
Professor Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive of NICE said:“Despite the often considerable potential of new technologies to improve patient health and increase NHS productivity, sometimes the benefits are not made available to patients quickly enough. The Government's Innovation Health and Wealth report in 2011 recommended the transfer of the NHS Technology Adoption Centre to NICE in an effort to improve uptake.
“We are pleased to take on this new responsibility. By establishing our Health Technologies Adoption Programme, we hope there will be a more seamless integration of NICE guidance and practical support and information at a local NHS level.”
A key function of NICE's new programme will be to develop ‘adoption guides' that detail how NHS organisations can sustainably introduce specific technologies recommended by NICE into routine clinical use; for example, by outlining staff training that may be required or through business case development.
NICE's programme will also support suppliers in the medical technologies and diagnostics industry to navigate the complexities of the NHS. It will do this by working with NICE's already-established scientific advice programme to provide consultancy and guidance to manufacturers whose devices and innovative technologies have already demonstrated clear benefits to patients and have real potential to improve NHS efficiency.
Sally Chisholm, former Chief Executive of NTAC and now Programme Director of NICE's Health Technologies Adoption Programme said: “Government and the health charities spend over £2 billion a year on research, which has produced many new and improved ways of delivering healthcare. However, the NHS often lags behind other countries in terms of implementation.
“Hospitals often try and fail to introduce new technologies - and it is sometimes very difficult to understand the reasons. Understanding and being able to negotiate through the technology adoption process is vital, and it is exactly this support that we will be providing doctors and managers in the NHS.”
“NTAC's work over the past six years has provided an extremely close fit with NICE and so we're delighted to be ‘closing the loop' by joining the Institute. We're going to be able to provide a much more effective route to implementing new technologies in the NHS as a result.”
Notes to Editors
- More information about NICE's Health Technologies Adoption Programme
- The transfer of the NHS Technology Adoption Centre (NTAC) to NICE was formally approved by the Department of Health in March 2013. A figure of £715,000 has been allocated for 2013/14 from the Innovation Directorate at NHS England and this amount will be reviewed on an annual basis. The funding arrangements will be underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding between NICE and NHS England.
- Further information about the Government´s Innovation Health and Wealth (2011) report, which recommended that NICE take on the NTAC's functions.
- NICE has evaluated new or innovative medical technologies (including devices and diagnostics) since 2010 as part of its Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme. As of Wednesday 1 May 2013, it has published 13 pieces of guidance.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body responsible for driving improvement and excellence in the health and social care system. We develop guidance, standards and information on high-quality health and social care. We also advise on ways to promote healthy living and prevent ill health.
Formerly the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, our name changed on 1 April 2013 to reflect our new and additional responsibility to develop guidance and set quality standards for social care, as outlined in the Health and Social Care Act (2012).
Our aim is to help practitioners deliver the best possible care and give people the most effective treatments, which are based on the most up-to-date evidence and provide value for money, in order to reduce inequalities and variation.
Our products and resources are produced for the NHS, local authorities, care providers, charities, and anyone who has a responsibility for commissioning or providing healthcare, public health or social care services.
To find out more about what we do, visit our website and follow us on Twitter: @NICEComms.