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Government asks how to make NICE nicer

The government is consulting on ways to ensure the priorities of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) better reflect those of the public — a move NICE has welcomed.

Under scrutiny is the 'topic selection process' - the way specific treatments, drugs or ways of caring for people with specific conditions or diseases, about which NICE will provide guidance for the NHS are chosen. 

At present, healthcare professionals, patients, carers and the general public can suggest topics for NICE to develop guidance on by filling in a suggestion form via on the NICE website. This information then goes to the Department of Health and Welsh Assembly Government, who are responsible for selecting which of theses topics will become part of the NICE technology appraisal and clinical guideline programmes.

The consultation proposes to streamline the process, with NICE playing a bigger role in the early stages of the topic selection process, as well as the Institute being the principle point of contact for individuals and organisations who would like to suggest topics.

Andrea Sutcliffe, Deputy Chief Executive at NICE, said: 'The proposed changes to the topic selection process should allow us to start working on topics suggested by the public more quickly.  We look forward to working with the Department of Health on making this system work more effectively, for the benefit of all NHS patients.'

The Department of Health consultation on the topic selection process  ends on 9 June 2006, and is available here.


Page created on March 10th, 2006

Page updated on December 1st, 2009