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 current RUP Programme (click the links to jump to the relevant section):

Find out more about our current RUP projects and the 2019/20 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.

The West of England AHSN has been supporting several projects to implement FeNO testing in primary care since summer 2021.  As of April 2022, there are 95 GP practices across the region that have access to FeNO devices, with a further 50 practices planning to go live during quarter one of 2022/23.

We regularly host FeNO webinars, please visit our events pages for more information.

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

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

FeNO eLearning modules

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

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

Podcast: How the FeNO test is improving asthma care

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).

Cholesterol and lipid disorders webinars – key messages in diagnosis and management – multiple dates to 19 October 2022

The West of England AHSN is providing a series of 1-hour online education sessions for GPs and healthcare professionals on the management of patients with high cholesterol and lipid disorders.

Delivered by secondary care consultants and GPwSI (GPs with Special Interest), this virtual session will include time for questions and discussion.

Find out more and book here

Podcast: 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.

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 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 by contacting Clare Evans, Deputy Director of Service and System Transformation – clare.evans14@nhs.net.

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.

Podcast: ‘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.

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 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 a local CCG to improved uptake of PCSK9i.

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.