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Market Access

As the largest single healthcare provider organisation in the world, the NHS represents a hugely attractive market place to companies, yet the scale and complexities of the organisation prevents companies from selling to and partnering with the organisation. Market access has therefore historically been difficult.

In recent years, however, there has been a move towards greater collaboration between the NHS and the business community with the government's Innovation Health and Wealth strategy a key motivating driver.

To access the UK NHS market, companies will typically require:

  • An understanding of the NHS market
  • Approval from the appropriate regulatory body
  • Reimbursement approval and procurement backing
  • Evidence of product effectiveness
  • An NHS tailored (health economic) business case and business model
  • A method of sale and distribution
In the new structure of the NHS there are now a number of key organisations, programmes and initiatives for SME’s to access to assist them through the engagement process. Such support mechanisms are on hand to enable companies to get a better understanding of key issues such as regulation, evidence, procurement, clinical validation, pilot adoption, etc., and should be utilised accordingly.

Regional Innovation Hubs

Initially established between 2002 and 2005 the 7 regional NHS Innovations Hubs exist to deliver improved care and better outcomes for patients; significant financial benefits for the NHS (through cost-savings, new income-streams, efficiency-savings and improvements in quality); world class knowledge economy and a more prosperous UK plc. The regional hubs operate in slightly different ways but work with NHS organisations, companies and regional, national and international bodies and networks to bring forward new ideas and help to put them into practice. They are ideally placed to assess the potential of existing products, and to help develop new technologies and services. In the Greater Manchester area TRUSTECH provides expertise to assist companies in gaining access to the NHS.


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for developing national guidance, standards and information for the provision of high-quality health and social care, and the prevention and treatment of ill health. NICE guidance helps health, public health and social care professionals deliver the best possible care based on the best available evidence. Through technology appraisals NICE also works with manufacturers to ensure that the evidence they submit on the effectiveness of their products is the most appropriate to enable an evaluation to be undertaken whilst the newly established NICE Health Technologies Adoption Programme (HTAP) is responsible for identifying ways to overcome potential barriers to the implementation of NICE guidance. 

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"The establishment of the regional Academic Health Science Networks will be key in encouraging partnerships between the business community and the NHS, and the GM AHSN is committed to assisting with this and is on hand to assist with market access to the NHS in the Greater Manchester region."

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Get Involved

Are you interested in working with the GM AHSN to provide support to businesses working in the healthcare sector? Would you like to be listed as an Associate on the Innovation Nexus portal? Contact us to discuss how we could work together.