National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence at Health Select Committee

On Tuesday 4 December 2012, the Health Select Committee, of which Valerie is a member, heard evidence from Sir Michael Rawlins and Sir Andrew Dillon, the Chair and the Chief Executive respectively of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

Valerie said:

“I asked about the implementation of NICE’s clinical guidance. This can vary across the country. The implementation of the Guidance can lead to an improvement of quality but also a reduction of costs in the NHS. Obesity has now reached the stage where it is putting serious pressure on the NHS. This could have been averted if there was faster implementation of NICE’s guidelines. While at the same time NICE’s guidelines regarding obesity have not been updated since 2006.”

“The Cancer Drug Fund will come to an end in 2014. The Fund has allowed NHS regions to make their own decisions on the exceptional treatment of cancer. These treatments are included because NICE have not made a recommendation on them or does not consider the treatment value for money. I asked whether the effectiveness of the drugs funded by the Cancer Drugs Fund will be monitored. Sir Michael Rawlins, said that he felt uncomfortable that special funds are limited to cancer and not to ‘other rotten diseases’ that also affect patients.”

“I was told by Sir Andrew Dillon that by the end of March 2013, 30 quality standards will be published. There will be 35 published each year thereafter until all the quality standards are published. These quality standards contain statements of good practice, based on carefully assessed evidences, to be used by practitioners and commissioners.”

“I asked where NICE would fit in between the NHS Commissioning Board and the Clinical Commissioning Groups. Sir Andrew Dillon told me that NICE will run alongside the NHS Commissioning Board. Providing core clinical materials, which will make up the contracts between the NHS Commissioning Board, CCGs and their providers. While NICE will have a relationship with the NHS Commissioning Board, NICE will also have direct engagement with local service providers. NICE does not have the executive power to require their guidance to be applied, they have a role in actively convincing practitioners, through a small field team, to adopt them.”

The transcript of the Committee Hearing with The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence can be viewed here.

For more information about the Health Select Committee please click here.