The Health Tech Alliance’s members were delighted to hear from Rachel Yates, Managing Director and Deputy SRO of the ‘Getting It Right First’ (GIRFT) programme, at our last meeting on 18th July.
Led by frontline clinicians, GIRFT is a national programme designed to reduce unwarranted variations in service and practice, and to improve the quality of medical and clinical care. The programme was borne out of a 2012 report by Professor Tim Briggs. Having examined the state of England’s orthopaedic surgery provision, Briggs suggested changes to improve pathways to care, patient experience and outcomes. A first pilot for orthopaedic surgery, hosted at the NHS Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Trust (RNOH) in partnership with NHS Improvement’s Operational Productivity Directorate, has already helped to deliver efficiencies and savings of up to £30 million.
Following the success of the pilot, GIRFT was initially expanded to a further 10 medical specialities and was recently expanded to 30+ specialities. GIRFT is firmly embedded within NHS Improvement’s thinking. NHS England’s ‘Next Steps on the Five Year Forward View’ estimates that the programme will deliver savings to the tune of £400m in 2017/18. Indeed, the programme’s latest report on national general surgery believes that if more acute hospitals introduced consultant-led surgical assessments at their ‘front door’ there could be as much as 30% fewer emergency admissions a year – saving £108m annually.
Despite its widely-acclaimed merits and projected benefits, the GIRFT programme still faces big challenges. The visits first conducted by the GIRFT team, for example, had varying impact and did not always meet with the desire audience – surgeons, most notably. Whilst the project is clinician-led, it requires a degree of buy-in from managerial staff – change cannot occur if both are not on-side. Similarly, it is not immediately clear exactly how GIRFT fits in with Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) and there have been claims of overlap with NHS England’s ‘RightCare’ initiative, the body’s drive to reduce unwarranted variation in the commissioning of services, and to provide patients with better information and tools to decide on their own treatment.
About the Health Tech Alliance
The Health Tech Alliance is an informal coalition of health technology companies who wish to improve the process for reimbursement for health tech solutions and work collaboratively with decision-makers within Government, NHS England, NICE and others to resolve market access obstacles.
Members include: Accuray, Airsonett, Boston Scientific, FirstKind Medical, Intuitive Surgical, Second Sight, Stent Tek and Urethrotech.
Membership benefits include: regular face-to-face engagement with senior decision-makers, exclusive opportunities to hear from key stakeholders about major announcements, guidance on understanding the NHS’s reimbursement policies and NICE approvals, sharing of best practice, networking and collaboration, and opportunities to showcase new technology developments.
To learn more about the Alliance’s forthcoming meetings and activities, please contact email@example.com