The MedTech Funding Mandate (MTFM) is a NHS Long Term Plan commitment to get selected NICE-approved cost-saving devices, diagnostics and digital products to NHS patients more quickly. The policy launched on 1 April 2021. After the first year of the new policy, new guidance was published for 2022/23. Further guidance on the 2023/24 policy will be available shortly.

The policy supports devices, diagnostics or digital products that:

  • are effective and improve patient outcomes, demonstrated through positive NICE guidance;
  • are cost-saving within three years: NICE modelling demonstrates a net saving within three years of implementing the technology;
  • are affordable to the NHS: the budget impact should not exceed £20 million, in any of the first three years.

The policy has three key objectives:

  • Ensure equity in healthcare provision is achieved by monitoring patient access to the supported technologies across the NHS in England.
  • Direct the NHS to the medical technology innovations that are most effective and likely to give savings on investment.
  • Support the NHS to develop a sustainable approach to overcoming the financial barriers to adopting medical devices, diagnostics and digital products.

The MTFM policy is an NHS England initiative, delivered with the support of the Health Innovation Network, working closely with their local ICSs.

Technologies included in the 2022/23 policy:

The technologies included in the MTFM 2022/23 policy, which will continue to be supported during 2023/24, are categorised into the following two themes:

  • Prostate gland enlargement
  • Improving the patient experience during procedures

Videos: The AHSN Network have published a number of videos which offer a good explanation of the policy and provide an overview of each of the innovations. You can access a playlist of the videos on the Health Innovation Network YouTube channel.

Prostate gland enlargement

Prostate gland enlargement (known clinically as Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)) is a common condition. It is currently treated with a surgical procedure which usually requires a hospital stay of up to 3 days. Four less invasive innovations (listed below) allow patients to be treated as day cases.

We’ll be working with providers and the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) Urology Area Networks to understand local technology needs and the potential local uptake from the four products.

  • UroLift: The UroLift system lifts and holds the enlarged prostate tissue away from the urethra, relieving the compression of this organ. It can be performed under local anaesthesia in an outpatient setting or ambulatory care centre, and the patient can return home the same day without a catheter. NICE guidance MTG58.
  • GreenLight XPS: The GreenLight XPS vaporises prostatic tissue with a laser. GreenLight XPS can be done as a day case procedure, reduces the risk of complications, and allows a quicker return to normal activity. NICE guidance MTG29.
  • Rezum: Rezum is a minimally invasive procedure that uses water vapour (steam) to treat BPH. The technology delivers targeted, controlled doses of stored thermal energy in water vapour directly to the region of the prostate gland with the obstructive tissue causing lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Rezum effectively alleviates BPH and patients can be treated as outpatients. NICE guidance MTG49.
  • PLASMA system: PLASMA uses electrodes to cut out (resect) prostate tissue and stop any local bleeding afterwards (haemostasis), which avoids the risk of transurethral resection syndrome and reduces the need for blood transfusion. This procedure can be done as a day case. NICE guidance MTG53

Improving the patient experience during procedures

These products are innovative alternatives to otherwise more invasive and costly procedures. Thopaz and Spectra Optia use digital technology to increase efficiency and improve outcomes compared to current procedures and Xpress is a minimally invasive alternative to invasive sinus surgery, thus reducing the risk of complications and improving patient recovery, outcomes and experience.

  • Thopaz+ portable digital system: is a portable digital chest drain system that provides regulated negative pressure close to the patient’s chest and continuously monitors and records air leak and fluid drainage. The system comprises an inbuilt, regulated suction pump with a digital display, rechargeable battery, tubing that connects to any standard chest drain catheter and a Thopaz+ disposable fluid collection canister. Sensors in the system turn the pump on and off to ensure the pressure level set by the healthcare professional is precisely maintained. NICE guidance MTG37.
  • Spectra Optia: is a cell collection platform for the treatment of sickle cell disease. In a typical exchange procedure, Spectra Optia separates and removes sickle red blood cells from the patient’s blood. These are replaced with healthy red blood cells. NICE guidance MTG28.
  • XprESS multi-sinus dilation system: is a sterile, single-use device for treating chronic sinusitis which remodels the bony sinus outflow tract by displacing adjacent bone and sinus structures. This has the potential to reduce the tissue lost compared to traditional procedures. NICE guidance MTG30.

2021/22 technologies receiving continued support through the MTFM

In 2021/22, the MTFM supported four NICE-approved, cost saving technologies. Supported technologies are reviewed annually to ensure that they meet the policy criteria. AHSNs continued to support these products in 2022/23:

  1. Placental growth factor (PLGF) based testing – PLGF  blood tests  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.
  2. SecurAcath – for securing percutaneous catheters. SecuraCath secures central venous catheters without requiring sutures or adhesives, improving patient safety and experience. Hear more in a podcast where lead nurse Carol McCormick talks to Dr Phil Jennings as part of a series of podcasts about innovations being fast-tracked into use in the NHS.
  3. HeartFlow – creates a 3D model of a patient’s coronary arteries and assesses the extent and location of blockages. Listen to our podcast which explains how HeartFlow can analyse a CT scan of a heart within four hours, avoiding unnecessary procedures and helping clinicians to quickly identify the right treatment.
  4. gammaCore – a handheld device which alleviates the symptoms of severe cluster headaches. Listen to our podcast where we hear from headache sufferer Andreea Duca who says her life was saved by GammaCore – and from a neurologist who is the UK’s biggest prescriber of the device, Dr Nick Silver of The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust.

Find out more

Read more about the MTFM programme on the NHS AAC web pages.

Find out more about the Health Innovation Network’s support for the MTFM.

If you would like to find out more about MTFM work in the West of England, please contact us.