New funding has been announced to support the uptake of medical technologies on the NHS in the North West and across the UK.
The government has announced £86 million worth of funding to be rolled out over the next three years in an effort to help innovative firms develop medical advancements and technology for the NHS.
Business will be able to bid for funding to aid their developments which could include digital technologies or new medicines.
Across Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and south Cumbria, the Innovation Agency will be responsible for assessing the benefits of new technologies and to help support NHS uptake of advancements that deliver real benefits to patients.
The Innovation Agency is one of England’s 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) which will be receiving £39 million worth of the funding.
A Digital Health Technology Catalyst constitutes £35 million of the package and is intended to support organisations within the industry develop digital technologies for patients on the NHS.
SMEs developing novel medicines and devices will have the chance of bidding for part of the £6 million set aside to help them get the evidence needed to advance their products. This funding will build on existing opportunities such as the Early Access to Medicine Scheme.
Lastly a £6 million Pathway Transformation Fund is also included to help NHS organisations integrate new technologies.
Dr Liz Mear, chief executive of the Innovation Agency said: “The Academic Health Science Networks support the healthcare system to quickly identify and spread new, better and cheaper ways to deliver services for patients and populations. Since we were set up in 2013 our work has benefited six million people and we have spread more than 200 innovations across the health and care system.
“We will build on our existing track record of matching products to challenges and directing our networks and expertise to assess innovations and speed up their spread across the country.”
The support is the first step towards the recommendations made in the Accelerated Access Review, which addressed the issues the NHS is facing and how technology can benefit patients, and improve healthcare efficiency.