As part of our support to the Accelerated Access Collaborative, AHSNs are driving adoption of a number of transformative technologies and medicines through the Rapid Uptake Products (RUP) programme.

The programme has been designed to support stronger adoption and spread of proven innovations. It identifies and supports products with NICE approval that support the NHS Long Term Plan’s key clinical priorities, but have lower than expected uptake to date.

Three innovations are being supported through the 2020/21 RUP Programme (click the links to jump to the relevant section):

Find out more about the current RUP projects in our region and the 19/20 Rapid Uptake Products.

Measuring fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) concentration in asthma: products NIOX VERO and NObreath

FeNO (fractional exhaled nitric oxide) is a point of care test to measure type two inflammation in airways, which augments and supports the accuracy of asthma diagnosis. The aim of this innovation will be to improve patient care and outcomes by more effective diagnosis of patients suspected of having asthma.

Access FeNO testing implementation resources here.

FeNO in Asthma eLearning modules

Health Education England (HEE) eLearning for healthcare along with partners including Wessex AHSN have developed eLearning modules, focused on FeNO in Asthma.

The first module aims to improve the learner’s understanding of FeNO, how the test is performed and appropriate language to use when talking about FeNO with patients. Although developed for primary care professionals, other healthcare professionals may find the module useful.

A second FeNO eLearning module was released in December 2021. Module 2 focuses on the interpretation of FeNO providing an enhanced description of what FeNO is and how it can be used in the diagnosis of asthma followed by worked case examples covering a spectrum of clinical scenarios.

You can find out more and access the FeNO eLearning modules on the HEE website.

How a new test is improving asthma care

In a Health Innovation podcast from the AHSN Network we hear about the programme to improve the diagnosis and management of asthma within primary care, through the spread of a breathing test called FeNO.

Host Dr Phil Jennings talks to severe asthma sufferer Emma Thompson and Carol Stonham, a Senior Nurse Practitioner and the Executive Chair of the Primary Care Respiratory Society.

Listen to the Health Innovation Podcast on Audioboom.

Lipid Management: High Intensity Statins, Ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors

The Rapid Uptake Product (RUP) for lipid management is a novel, NICE-approved clinical pathway. This innovation aims to improve a person’s lipid profile, by reducing cholesterol concentration in blood by treating patients with the right medicine along the evidence-based pathway. The pathway includes three medicines: high intensity statins (HIST), ezetimibe, and PCSK9 inhibitors (continued from 2019/20).

How a heart attack saved a young mum’s life

In a Health Innovation Podcast from the AHSN Network, we speak to a fit and healthy 34-year-old mum who discusses how she had a heart attack while pregnant due to the genetic condition Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH). FH creates an abnormal level of cholesterol in the blood. Our guest, Clara, talks to Dr Phil Jennings, AHSN Network Lead for the Rapid Uptake Products.

Listen to the Health Innovation Podcast now on Audioboom.

One of the national AHSN Network’s programmes focuses on Familial Hypercholesterolaemia detection, the roll out of Inclisiran and lipid optimisation to reduce death and disability due to premature cardiovascular disease (CVD). Read more about our work on CVD.

Biologics for treating severe asthma: Reslizumab, Benralizumab, Mepolizumab and Omalizumab

Around 1,400 people each year die from a severe asthma attack; and asthma deaths are 50 per cent more likely in poorest areas compared with the richest.

Now, people with severe asthma are being offered a newer type of treatment alongside their usual asthma medicines. These are known as monoclonal antibodies, also referred to as biologics.

Biological therapies can transform patient lives by reducing long-term side effects of other treatments (e.g. oral corticosteroids (OCS)) and can also reduce the number of exacerbations and life-threatening asthma attacks.

Free online toolkit

As the lead for the AHSN Network national asthma biologics programme, Oxford AHSN has launched an online toolkit to support healthcare professionals involved in care for patients with asthma.

‘Game changer’ therapy for severe asthma sufferers

In a Health Innovation Podcast from the AHSN Network, we hear from a patient and a leading clinician on how biologics are a game changer for people whose lives have been blighted by asthma. Biologics are helping them to live normal lives – and reducing the risk of a fatal attack.

Listen to the Health Innovation Podcast now on Audioboom.

Funding secured for Asthma biologics across the South West of England

Following a successful bid submitted by South West and West of England AHSNs to the Pathway Transformation Fund in April 2021, £129,000 funding was awarded for the treatment of severe asthma. The Pathway Transformation Fund (PTF) is available to help NHS organisations integrate selected RUP into everyday practices and to overcome barriers to deploying them. The two AHSNs are working alongside the South West Severe Asthma Network, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Acute Trusts.

Find out more about how your Asthma team can get involved in this work across the West of England and South West AHSN regions by contacting Clare Evans, Deputy Director of Service and System Transformation – clare.evans14@nhs.net or Rachel Gibbons, Programme Manager – rachel.gibbons10@nhs.net.

Current RUP projects in our region

The Pathway Transformation Fund (PTF) was created to help NHS organisations integrate the Rapid Uptake Products into everyday practices.

Four 2021 PTF applications attracted funding in the West of England region:

  • Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG – Measuring fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) concentration in asthma. This involves all GP Practices across the BSW region enabling local access to FeNO Testing reducing visits to hospitals.
  • Gloucestershire CCG – Measuring fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) concentration in asthma. This involves one locality of Gloucestershire covering 19 GP practices providing local access to FeNO Testing.
  • Gloucestershire CCG and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Lipid Optimisation. Working with five GP practices we will use search options within practice databases to identify patients at risk of raised cholesterol who would benefit from a detailed medication review.
  • West of England and South West AHSN regions – Biologics for treating severe asthma. The South West Severe Asthma Network, from Cornwall to Swindon, will work with all hospitals to create a common pathway for managing asthma care streamlining the process of referral to severe asthma centres and access to asthma biologic therapy.

Read more about the RUP projects running in our region.

Rapid Uptake Products 19/20: 

Three Rapid Uptake Products from the 2019/20 programme will continue through 2020/21:

  • Placental growth factor (PIGF) based tests to help rule out pre-eclampsia quickly so that pregnant women receive the most appropriate care. Read more about this life saving world-first test for pregnant women.
  • HeartFlow FFRCT – analysis which creates a 3D model of the coronary arteries to help clinicians to rapidly diagnose patients with suspected coronary artery disease from coronary CT angiography.
  • PCSK9 inhibitors – will continue as part of a wider Lipid Management workstream. PCSK9 inhibitors are for the treatment of very high cholesterol, and are used together with a statin-type cholesterol-lowering medicine, or for patients who are unable to take or tolerate a statin.

Contact us

If you would like to get involved in this programme please contact Clare Evans, Deputy Director of Service and System Transformation – clare.evans14@nhs.net or Rachel Gibbons, Programme Manager – rachel.gibbons10@nhs.net.