Sickle cell patients in East Midlands to benefit from national £1.5M technology investment  

Posted by: Jamie Sharp - Posted on:

Children, young people, and adults across the East Midlands suffering from sickle cell disease will benefit from better care closer to where they live, following the announcement of a national £1.5M investment in 25 red blood cell exchange devices. 

Funding for the Spectra Optia® Apheresis System devices has been distributed to 22 NHS trusts around England, including University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. 

The device is one of the technologies supported through NHS England’s MedTech Funding Mandate

Health Innovation East Midlands (HIEM) is a lead delivery partner in the East Midlands for the Mandate, which accelerates adoption of selected cost-saving medical technologies, diagnostics, and digital products recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). 

Sickle cell patients often find themselves in and out of hospitals, enduring severe pain and requiring regular ‘top-up’ blood transfusions. 

Automating red blood cell exchanges can help reduce the necessity for top-up transfusions, effectively manage pain, and lower the risk of experiencing a crisis. Eligible patients can receive treatment every six to eight weeks. 

Sickle cell disease disproportionately impacts people from West African and Afro-Caribbean communities, and patients also often live in the most socio-economically deprived areas and are at higher risk of both re-admissions and in-hospital mortality. 

This investment comes from NHS England Specialised Commissioning.