Project to investigate NHS ‘de-adoption’ programme to stop ‘low-value’ surgical procedures receives £550k
27 April 2021
The University of Bristol’s health economics team and the National Institute for Health and Care Research Applied Research Collaboration West (NIHR ARC West) have been awarded £550k from NIHR to look at the NHS Evidence-based Interventions (EBI) programme. The EBI programme aims to stop or reduce ‘low-value’ treatment, which are treatments that research has shown don’t work as well as previously thought.
Launched in 2019, the EBI programme names 17 ‘low-value’ surgical procedures that NHS commissioners are required to stop funding, or only fund if patients meet the criteria stated in the EBI policies. Stopping or reducing a treatment is sometimes referred to as ‘de-adoption’ of that treatment. De-adoption could mean stopping a treatment altogether, or only providing it for patients expected to benefit.
The project is a collaboration with NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the University of Birmingham, and Canterbury Christ Church University. The team have received funding from the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research programme to investigate how the EBI programme initiative works in practice and its implications for patients, NHS providers, and commissioners across England.
The team will also work with patients, clinicians, commissioners and policy makers to develop recommendations to help the NHS reduce low-value care in the best way possible. This will save the NHS money while also allowing them to deliver the best care within its limited budget.
Dr Leila Rooshenas, Senior Lecturer in Qualitative Health Science, University of Bristol, led the grant application and is one of the lead investigators on the project, alongside Professor Will Hollingworth. She said:
“We are very pleased to have received this funding from NIHR. This project builds on several pieces of work we’ve already done to look at how – or if – certain procedures are stopped or reduced. New research on clinical interventions is emerging all the time, but it can take a while for practice to catch up with the evidence, and we still have a lot of work to do to truly understand the implications of de-adoption for patients, the public and clinicians. The implications for practice and knock-on effects on people’s lives need to be better understood if we’re to find an acceptable way of reducing non-evidence-based care.
“I hope the recommendations that arise from this project will make it easier for the NHS to promote evidence-based care, which may mean making changes to how certain treatments are used in practice. I am looking forward to working with our collaborators and public contributors on this exciting project.”