Overcoming barriers to adopting new technologies

The Health Technologies Adoption Programme (HTAP) is responsible for identifying ways to overcome potential barriers to implementing NICE guidance.

The team does this by working closely with health and social care organisations that are commissioning, implementing or using a product that has been recommended by a technology appraisal, or medical technologies or diagnostics guidance.

HTAP develops resources to support the adoption of selected NICE guidance. The topics selected are those identified as having potential adoption barriers, and may cover any guidance topic apart from highly specialist services and cancer drug guidance.

Adoption support resources are developed in 2 ways:

  1. Demonstrator projects: these are carried out if the technology is already being routinely used in a number of health or social care organisations. They are retrospective projects that collect and record experiences from sites in the UK that are already using the technology. Demonstrator projects last about 6 months.
  2. Adoption projects: these are carried out if the technology is not already being routinely used in UK health and social care services. They are prospective projects that work alongside organisations putting the technology into practice, collecting and recording their experiences in real time during the project. Adoption projects last about 12 months.

The web-based adoption support resources contain practical solutions and advice that enable NHS organisations to promote the sustainable uptake of NICE guidance.

The overall aims of the adoption support resources are to:

  • provide real-life examples of how services have implemented a new health technology
  • identify key national priorities that support the adoption of the technology
  • help health and social care organisations anticipate challenges when considering the adoption of a new health technology
  • help local services to identify solutions based on experiences of other services
  • provide tools and documents than can help services plan for and better implement new health technologies
  • help providers and commissioners to review current service provision and make a business case for change

In 2014/15, we published five adoption support resources to help with the following pieces of guidance:


In May 2014, we hosted the first HTAP stakeholder event which focused on the adoption project to support the uptake of the diagnostic guidance on faecal calprotectin diagnostic tests for inflammatory bowel disease.

The event provided the opportunity for each of the NICE adoption project sites to discuss their concerns and progress in implementing faecal calprotectin testing within primary care.

A number of issues were raised including the need for a clear algorithm to guide GPs through their clinical decision making, and appropriate training for GPs and staff within primary care in the use of faecal calprotectin testing and in better management of IBS.

Join the team!

We are currently recruiting NHS professionals to join our HTAP Reference Panel – instrumental in supporting the work of the HTAP programme.

Panel members do this by offering up to date NHS and social care experience to members of the HTAP team.

The panel consists of commissioners, clinicians and managers who are actively involved in the NHS. This is to ensure that a range of relevant expertise is available as well as local perspectives from those likely to be users of the products.