The MedTech Funding Mandate is an NHS Long Term Plan commitment to help selected NICE-approved devices, diagnostics and digital products reach NHS patients faster.
For 2022/23, seven new technologies will be supported by the mandate leading NHS England and NHS Improvement to need additional capacity and capability to launch the technologies and explain the procurement and funding process.
Arden & GEM and Midlands and Lancashire CSUs brought their combined engagement, communications and marketing capability together to design and deliver a launch programme, including stakeholder mapping and case study production, which culminated in a highly successful online event attended by 293 NHS leaders.
The MedTech Funding Mandate policy is an NHS Long Term Plan commitment to help selected NICE-approved devices, diagnostics and digital products reach NHS patients faster, to make best use of NHS resources and improve patient outcomes.
The MedTech Funding Mandate launched in April 2021 and, in its first year, supported four NICE-approved, cost-saving technologies which, following a review, will now continue for a further year. In 2022/23, the policy will support seven new technologies:
- GreenLight XPS
- The PLASMA System
- XprESS multi-sinus dilation system
- Thopaz+ portable digital system
- Spectra Optia.
NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) needed support to help NHS providers and commissioners across England better understand these new technologies, and the procurement and funding process.
Our Engagement, Communications and Marketing team was tasked with providing capacity and capability in three key areas:
- Producing a stakeholder map and database
- Designing and facilitating an online launch event including the event structure, content, materials and promotion
- Developing case studies for the seven technologies including video content.
A detailed stakeholder map was produced to identify key people with a potential interest in the new mandated products, including both national and regional clinical, patient and voluntary sector organisations. We also identified the level of interest and influence of different stakeholder groups.
We then produced a stakeholder database, with contact details, and highlighted the key communication channels (including websites, social media, blogs, podcasts, newsletters etc) used by the different stakeholders. While desktop research identified events and conferences in 2022/3 that may be relevant to promote the MedTech Funding Mandate to the key stakeholder groups.
Online launch event
Planning and promotion: A virtual online launch event was planned in close collaboration with the NHSE&I team for NHS leaders to learn more about the seven new technologies, their benefits, the funding mechanism and how to procure them.
Our in-house creative team designed a number of event materials including an eye-catching invitation, reminder, running order, presentation and case study series. This gave the event a consistent look and feel which was reflective of the innovative nature of the programme.
We promoted the event through direct emails, using the stakeholder database and buying in contact data for NHS leaders working in relevant areas such as finance and planning, strategy and transformation, and performance and improvement. We also worked with the MedTech Funding Mandate team and the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) to circulate the invitation and to promote the event via their channels and networks.
The registration process was managed using an online tool, with prospective attenders invited to submit questions before the event, which were themed and the most popular answered on the day.
Production: Our in-house IT team, with specialist expertise in using Microsoft 365 in healthcare, set up the online event using Teams Live. Given the complexity of the event programme – with 16 presenters and seven videos – trial runs took place with presenters before the event to test the technology and familiarise them with the event delivery. This enabled to resolve any issues before the event. Members of the production team managed the chat function on the day and the CSU also provided a senior manager to host the event. Dedicated production support meant that presenters were able to focus on delivering their key messages.
Case study development
Working with technology suppliers, clinicians and patients, we produced seven case studies to highlight the benefits of the new mandated products. Covering both the patient and NHS perspectives, the case studies will be used online, on social media and in the media to promote the MedTech Funding Mandate and to encourage the commissioning and adoption of the products by NHS organisations across England.
We also worked with patients and clinicians to produce video case studies focusing on the personal benefits they have experienced from the use of the new products. These powerful and impactful personal stories were used to bring the online event to life and will also be shared more widely via the FutureNHS collaboration platform.
The MedTech Funding Mandate for 2022/23 was successfully launched to 293 people via a well-managed and engaging live online event. Feedback from the customer and attendees about the event was extremely positive.
Supporting materials, including case studies, presentation slides and event recordings have been made available to stakeholders via the FutureNHS Platform.
These activities have given NHS providers and commissioners a better understanding of the mandate, the supported technologies and the difference they can make to service delivery and patient outcomes.
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