Doris-Ann covered the innovation Service and the signposting for companies for new products and innovations for the NHS. The group were very keen to understand the pathways and BIVDA will be looking at ways to make the process clear and easy to follow for members to access this service. For further information on the Innovation Service, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helen updated the meeting attendees with the latest development is the ARI hub pilots that are currently underway with NHS England.
The objective of the pilot is to demonstrate with evidence that the setting up of ARI hubs, in various NHS Settings is effective in managing the presentation and flow of patients presenting at A&E with respiratory problems. There are 3 pilots involving member companies which whilst not in an ARI setting will produce significant evidence of pathway improvement and methodology, and further pilots to evaluate other settings and methodologies are about to be stood up. The funding for the pilots expires 31 March 2023, but the purpose is to show that for next winter, it will be a valuable and effective exercise to stand up. These services are not expected to be commissioned, but to be provided through existing infrastructure, and likely with no extra funds. The pilots will not be looking at products and technology, but the system delivery and it is expected that ARI hubs will have compliant routes to market through usual mechanism, Eg. Managed service contracts, and NHS frameworks.
Helen also updated the member group on the progress of the commissioned whitepaper for Covid Test procurement. This will be finalised and published by the end of February. The overall project objective was to provide an analysis of the procurement landscape for Covid Diagnostic tests during the pandemic focusing on the timeline of events, lessons learned and recommendations which incorporates “the good, the bad and the ugly”. This will include references from other work and evidence from members.
The report addresses questions across the sector on how and why were decisions made, and whether the government will recognise the concerns and reform the procurement process for emergency measures including Emergency Use Authorisations (EUA) from MHRA and the Technical Validation Group (TVG) process.
It looks at the definition of a pandemic emergency situation and when emergency measures cease to apply to ensure fair, open and transparent procurement decisions and if government procurement legislation enable contracting authorities to procure more effectively in any future pandemic scenario.
The report also looks at the short/medium- and long-term commercial impact on domestic and international suppliers already established in the UK resulting from Government action/inaction over Covid test Procurement decisions and the short/medium and long-term commercial impact on domestic and international suppliers already established in the UK resulting from Government action/inaction over Covid test Approval Process.
The report will act as a springboard for further dialogue and knowledge exchange between the Government (and within it civil servants such as commercial officers and public health professionals), industry, the scientific community and academic community on ways to improve procurement, validation and approvals processes in respect of IVDs.
There was a roundtable discussion with input from every member in attendance making a contribution on what they wanted to gain and learn from future meetings. This also covered some of the synergies with the Infectious Diseases Working Party, where it was confirmed that whilst the agendas and synergies were significant, it should remain as a separate group as companies viewed them in separate contexts.
Finally, 2 new Vice Chairs have been appointed to the Working Party, Wendy Thompson from Prema Labs and Lucy Lehane from Lumira DX. Welcome!!
We are looking forward to progressing this group!