Medtech Insight’s Ashley Yeo interviewed Doris-Ann to better understand the UK diagnostics industry’s reaction to, and expectations of, the Government’s MedTech Strategy.
Doris-Ann agreed with the instigator of the MedTech Strategy, David Lawson, that NHSE needs to improve upon its adoption of innovation at scale, simplifying the adoption process and utilising innovations more effectively.
Cutting down the onerous evidence gathering process by adopting tests before all evidence is gathered is one option, she said, while also recommending a one-off full independent evaluation of IVDs nationally.
Overall, Doris-Ann revealed she is pleased with the ambition of the Strategy, but its success ultimately depends on its delivery. Moreover, David Lawson is an excellent appointment to drive it forward but fears that the wider organisation could thwart the project, as has happened in the past. She also stated that next year’s general election will likely dictate the trajectory of the Strategy.
The future remains bright for IVDs in the UK, with the best yet to come for the industry, Doris-Ann claimed. Greater adoption in the community will help to fulfil some of the key themes of current health policy: preventing ill health, diagnosing illnesses earlier and reducing waiting times.
More community testing is likely, and while Community Diagnostic Centres (CDCs) have not fully utilised the potential of IVDs – largely focusing on the imaging backlog – Doris-Ann is confident that IVDs will encompass a larger part of CDC operations imminently.
Doris-Ann supported the improved usage of diagnostics in the community and believes the advent of ICSs, particularly providing more joined-up, community focused care, will help to solve some of the existing barriers. However, the intended individuality of each ICS means that they alone will not solve the issue completely.
There are already excellent examples of trusts responding to the demand for point-of-care-testing (POCT) in the community, with NHS Frimley Foundation Trust pioneering a hospital-at-home team. Doris-Ann herself supports a national audit of POCT activity to assess the current issues and increase adoption where it is needed.
Doris-Ann closed the interview by responding to the wider life sciences industry’s concern about the current trajectory of the MHRA. She asserted that the IVD industry will always be present to support the MHRA in any way which can benefit patients.
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