AHSNs are driving adoption of a number of transformative technologies and medicines through the Rapid Uptake Products (RUP) programme.

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

Three innovations were supported through the 2022/2023 RUP Programme (click the links to jump to the relevant section):

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 supports faster and more accurate asthma diagnoses.

Following receipt of Pathway Transformation Funding for two projects in 2021, we have been supporting the implementation of FeNO testing in primary care.

Project evaluations and case study

Our FeNO projects in Gloucestershire and Bath, North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) have now been evaluated:

Outside of these formal projects, we have been working with Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to drive adoption and spread of FeNO testing. Read more about this work.


Read our FeNO patient stories to hear more about how the test is improving asthma diagnosis across the West of England.

Wessex AHSN have created a FeNO implementation packAccess the free FeNO testing implementation resources.

Watch a short video from Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB which showcases Tom’s journey to asthma diagnosis and how access to a FeNO machine helped.

Health Education England (HEE) eLearning for healthcare have developed a number of FeNO eLearning modules. Access the FeNO eLearning modules on the HEE website.

In a Health Innovation podcast from the AHSN Network 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, about FeNO testing and its benefits. Listen to the Health Innovation Podcast.

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).

Following receipt of Pathway Transformation Funding in 2021, we worked with five GP practices across One Gloucestershire using search options within practice databases to identify patients at risk of raised cholesterol who would benefit from a detailed medication review:

Get involved

Find out more about this work by contacting Rachel Gibbons, Programme Manager – rachel.gibbons10@nhs.net.

We’re also supporting a national programme focused on tackling cardiovascular disease through embedding a new lipids pathway, identification of Familial Hypercholesterolaemia and the roll out of inclisiran. Read more about this work.

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

Following a successful bid in April 2021 to the Pathway Transformation Fund, the South West and West of England AHSNs were awarded £129,000 funding for two projects focused on the treatment of severe asthma. The two AHSNs worked alongside the South West Severe Asthma Network and 10 acute trusts on a project focused on adults. In a separate project the AHSNs worked with Bristol Royal Hospital for Children to improve access to asthma biologics for children.

Project evaluations

Our projects focused on improving access to asthma biologics and care pathways for adults and children and young people have now been evaluated. Read about project successes and learning here.

New asthma consensus pathway launched

A new set of standards (launched in June 2022 by Oxford AHSN) aim to lead to better care for adults with uncontrolled and severe asthma. The consensus pathway is intended to be a blueprint, guiding clinicians, managers and commissioners on what optimal care should look like across the entire patient journey and leading to real improvements in outcomes. Access full and summary versions of the pathway.

Free online toolkit

Oxford AHSN has created an online toolkit to support healthcare professionals involved in care for patients with asthma.

Get involved

Find out more about this work by contacting Clare Evans, Deputy Director of Service and System Transformation – clare.evans14@nhs.net.

Rapid Uptake Products 2019/20: 

Three Rapid Uptake Products from the 2019/20 programme continued throughout 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 – 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. Read our news article about how we worked with Healthier Together to improve uptake of PCSK9i across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.