Calls for Medical Devices Fund to drive health equality in NHS care

Medical Devices

The Medical Technology Group (MTG) campaign for improvements in medical care for patients through the use of innovative and specialist medical technology, provided by the NHS. They have now called for the formation of a dedicated Medical Devices Fund to improve NHS access to medical technology.

By 2050, an estimated 30 million people in the UK are predicted to be diagnosed with long-term health conditions. Research carried out by the Medical Technology Group found that with the addition of eight technologies, the NHS could be saved £476 million that would otherwise be spent on the management of long-term conditions and associated benefits payments.

“Calls for Medical Devices Fund to drive health equality in NHS care.“

“Last September, the government announced it would aim to provide £36 billion over the next three years for innovation and new technology aimed at tackling the crisis of waiting lists on the NHS. We saw this plan continue to come to fruition this week with the latest round of £680 million in funding for the Innovative Medicines Fund. This is fantastic news for patients on NHS waiting lists awaiting life-saving and life-enhancing treatment.

“We now need a similar Medical Devices Fund for medical technology. At present, there is no ring-fenced funding for the uptake of medical technology, meaning patients are losing out on backlog busting innovation that will see world-class technology diagnose, treat, and return them to normal life as fast as possible.

“A Medical Devices Fund that values long-term investment will help the Government achieve its ambitious plans to clear the backlog, level up quality of care across the country, and ensure NHS patients have timely and equitable access to the most pioneering medical technology in the world.” - Barbara Harpham, Medical Technology Group Chair

This call for funding comes after the MTG released reports on the recovery across different regions of the UK after the pandemic in addressing the backlog as a result of lockdown restrictions, waiting times, and number of patients treated. Their research highlights significant disparity between different clinical commissioning groups by region, with the lowest scoring region, the NHS North Central London performing 70% lower than NHS Wakefield.

The MTG hopes that boosts in funding new and cutting edge technology can help bring equality to healthcare access and quality across the UK, and moving the NHS into a new phase of recovery after the pandemic.

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