Medical Technology Strategy
The strategy recognises the importance of innovative technologies in reducing current pressures on the health service and allowing patients to better manage their own health, providing a clear vision for coordinating actions to deliver change.
The vision outlines 3 central objectives: right product, right price and right place.
The strategy details that products must be clinically safe and effective, by developing best practice regulations and safety standards. Clinical leadership is at the forefront of the strategy, ensuring both clinicians and patients can make informed decisions on products with certainty.
Products must provide value for public money and consider affordability, long-term value and patient outcomes – with an understanding that ‘lowest price’ doesn’t always equate to best value. High quality data will provide greater confidence that prices are reasonable for the health service and suppliers.
The importance of supply chain resilience and access to Medtech products as and when they are needed is of paramount importance, and the strategy encourages suppliers to ensure supply-chain resilience is a top priority for Medtech businesses.
These objectives will be delivered by four priority areas of focus:
Resilience and continuity of supply
Continuity of supply of medical equipment, devices and consumables is essential for the consistent delivery of safe, high quality patient care. It also encourages suppliers to move away from single-use products to multi-use solutions which will work in-tandem with the NHS Net Zero plan.
Innovative and dynamic markets
The strategy also considers how to build upon the success of the UK Medtech sector and allow innovative and dynamic markets to flourish. It recommends a clear set of frameworks are developed to ensure healthcare providers are not overwhelmed by the proliferation of available products. Additionally, the strategy outlines the need to develop a product evaluation system with industry and streamline the procurement process to provide great clarity to suppliers. techUK called for the streamlining of procurement frameworks in our report, Right from the Start, and looks forward to working with NHS England in our new Community of Practice to tackle these issues.
Delivering the Medtech vision will require the further development of key enablers, including improving data collection and standards to build a comprehensive data landscape and ensure informed decisions can be made.
The plan further sets out how to strengthen the relationship with industry and create channels for government and suppliers to engage centrally, aiming to establish a culture of collaborative working, open and honest conversations whilst respecting commercial sensitivities.
Specific market focuses
The strategy recognises several market areas facing specific issues, including the use of Medtech in the community and diagnostics.
By focusing on providing meaningful choice, modernising administrative arrangements, and embracing new commercial and service models in Medtech in the community, the strategy hopes to ensure patients can make informed choices about the products available to them, increase and streamline the speed of systems and reduce regional differentiation in services.
The development of Community Diagnostic Centres, with an aim of up to 160 by 2025, will reduce pressure on hospitals and speed up diagnosis and treatment. Digital transformation of diagnostics through new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) will also enable the current imaging and pathology workforce to optimise working patterns and better support the growth in capacity of imaging services. This will transform the NHS’s ability to deliver more accurate and timely test results.
Join techUK on 21 of February for a briefing with the DHSC Medtech directorate, where David Lawson, Director of Medical Technology at DHSC will provide an overview of the strategy and implications for the technology sector.