NHS rolls out headache-busting gadget across the country
A small, portable device that can zap away excruciating headaches is now available to anyone who needs it on the NHS.
The gadget is held against the neck and delivers a low-level electric current to block pain signals, relieving pain from people suffering from ‘cluster’ headaches.
NHS England is expanding the use of gammaCore after successful trials held over the last two years.
The NHS Long Term Plan set committed to using the latest treatments and therapies to improve patient care.
Around 11,000 people are set to benefit from the device when they have the debilitating headaches.
NHS medical director Stephen Powis recently said:
“While they may be small, these devices will make a huge difference to people who suffer from these debilitating headaches – relieving painful symptoms and allow people to go about their daily lives as normal.
“The NHS Long Term Plan committed to making cutting edge treatments and technology available to save and improve lives.
“This is the latest example of the NHS testing the latest tech and rolling it out at speed for patients across the country.”
Cluster headaches begin quickly and are often described as a sharp, burning or piercing sensation on one side of the head with attacks lasting between 15 minutes and three hours and occurring up to eight times a day.
Patients can use the device regularly to prevent cluster headaches or when they feel one starting to come on.
While rare, the debilitating condition is more common in men and tend to start when they are in their 30s or 40s.
Clinicians now have another treatment option for patients, particularly for those who have not had success with other treatments, including triptan – painkillers used to ease migraines and severe headaches.
The new technology is being made available, as part of the new Medtech Funding Mandate policy, which came into effect on 1 April, allowing patients to benefit from fast tracked innovations from the NHS.
About one to two people in every 1,000 are affected by the rare type of headache and around one in 20 do not respond to traditional methods, including painkillers or oxygen.
Matthew Whitty, director of innovation and life sciences for NHS England, recently said:
“Despite the pandemic, we remain committed to delivering on the ambitious commitments set out in the Long Term Plan to support the latest innovations and allow patients to utilise them across the country, as quickly as possible.
“The GammaCore device will provide life-changing benefits for thousands of people and it is just one of a number of technologies that are being mandated by the NHS.”
The NHS was the first country in the world to deliver the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID vaccines outside of a clinical trial.
Dexamethasone, an inexpensive steroid, was discovered to be the first effective treatment for COVID thanks to trials in the NHS.
NHS England has spent more than £160 million on COVID-friendly cancer drugs which make it safer for patients to receive treatment by reducing the impact on immune systems or limiting hospital visits.
NHS England’s world-leading commercial capabilities mean NHS patients were first in Europe to receive CAR-T therapy, which can cure previously untreatable cancers.
People with Cystic Fibrosis have benefited from new medicines that can reverse the condition, while the NHS has also rolled out glucose monitors to improve diabetes care.
NHS England recently struck a deal on Zolgensma, which treats a genetic disease that paralyses and often kills babies and young children and also happens to be the world’s most expensive drug.
Latest News from
Moderna jabs mark new milestone in NHS vaccination programme13/04/2021 12:10:00
The first Moderna jabs will be delivered in England today (Tuesday) as the NHS vaccination programme reaches another milestone.
Senior NHS figures stress Muslims can get COVID jab in Ramadan12/04/2021 12:15:00
Two leading Muslim figures working in the NHS recently (09 April 2021) joined other medical leaders and Islamic scholars in stressing that Ramadan should not stop anyone from getting the NHS COVID vaccination.
‘Nightingale effect’ sees thousands of healthcare support workers join the NHS09/04/2021 09:15:00
The NHS has boosted support for patients, their families and staff by recruiting 10,000 healthcare support workers (HCSWs) in the first three months of the year.
New dedicated mental health services for new expectant and bereaved mums07/04/2021 09:15:00
Thousands of new, expectant or bereaved mothers will receive help and support for mental health problems through dozens of new dedicated hubs which are being set up across the country.
Thousands of patients set to benefit from five-minute breast cancer treatment06/04/2021 16:15:00
An injection that cuts the amount of time breast cancer patients spend in hospital from two and a half hours to as little as five minutes is being rolled out across the country by NHS England.
NHS Chiefs urge: book an NHS COVID jab without delay01/04/2021 16:30:00
NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens has urged anyone currently eligible for a COVID vaccination, who has not received one, to book an appointment without delay.
‘COVID-friendly’ cancer care at home extended for more patients31/03/2021 12:10:00
Thousands of people with cancer can benefit from ‘COVID friendly’ treatments from home, the NHS announced today.
Second dose milestone as 2.5 million get top-up jab30/03/2021 09:15:00
The NHS in England has vaccinated more than 25 million people against COVID-19, with the number of people receiving their second dose reaching a new weekly high.