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.

Following receipt of Pathway Transformation Funding in 2021, we have been supporting several projects to implement FeNO testing in primary care.  As of April 2022, there were 95 GP practices across the West of England that have access to FeNO devices.

Project evaluations and case study

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

Resources

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

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.

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

Health Education England (HEE) eLearning for healthcare along with partners including Wessex AHSN 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 have been working 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.

A national AHSN Network programme focuses on Familial Hypercholesterolaemia detection and the roll out of inclisiran. Read more about our work on CVD.

Get involved

Find out more about how your CVD/Lipids team can get involved in this work by contacting Rachel Gibbons, Programme Manager – rachel.gibbons10@nhs.net.

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.

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.

People with severe asthma are now 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 in April 2021 to the Pathway Transformation Fund £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 on this project.

New consensus pathway launched

A new set of standards (launched in June 2022 by Oxford AHSN) based on best practice aims 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 overview 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 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.

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.

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.