NICE sets up expert consideration panels to support topic selection process
NICE is setting up seven expert consideration panels to assess topics that have been put forward as possible contenders for the Institute's clinical guidelines, health technology and public health guidance. Members will include health, social care and public health professionals, academics and researchers, and people who bring a patient, carer, and/or community perspective.
Panel members will not represent a particular organisation, but are expected to apply their own experience and judgment. Each panel will cover one of the following: cancer; children, adolescents and maternity; heart and stroke; long-term conditions; mental health; public health; and conditions not covered by the other panels.
There are vacancies on all the panels. Applications have been invited in two rounds. The deadline for the first round was 25 August 2006 (applicants will join their first panel meeting in November) and 22 September 2006 (to join their first panel meeting in February 2007).
The consideration panels are part of a process being introduced by NICE to support its anticipated responsibility for topic selection.
How will the topic selection process work?
The Department of Health commissions NICE to develop clinical guidelines, guidance on public health and technology appraisals. Topics for the interventional procedures program are notified to NICE directly, usually by clinicians.
The Department of Health recently launched a public consultation on the topic selection process. The consultation ran from 6 March 2006 to 9 June 2006. Read the press release. NICE has submitted its response to the public consultation. Read NICE´s response. The Department of Health is expected to formally announce the outcome of the public consultation shortly.
The process that was consulted on involves the following steps:
- Anyone can make a suggestion for NICE guidance.
- Three lists of suggestions are gathered each year.
- Each list is sifted to see if topics fall into NICE's remit.
- Remaining suggestions are filtered based on selection criteria set by the Department of Health.
- One of seven consideration panels assesses and prioritises the remaining topics, according to Department of Health criteria and their expert knowledge.
- The Joint Planning Group (a Department of Health /NICE group) considers the panel's suggestions, looking at issues such as NICE capacity. It sends its final recommendations to the Health Minister.
- The Minister refers public health or clinical guideline topics to NICE. Technology appraisal topics are referred for consultation before being confirmed.
What happens now?
NICE's Topic Selection Secretariat will be set up in Manchester, headed up by NICE Associate Director Mark Salmon and supported by Dr Nick Summerton, Consultant Clinical and Public Health Adviser, to manage the whole process. It will develop relationships with a range of external organisations to generate suggestions. It will also take on board ideas from other Institute sources, including NICE's new country-wide team of Implementation Consultants.
The next ‘wave' of topic referrals (due in November) will be selected using the existing process. It is hoped that the referrals expected in March 2007 will be partly selected through the new process.
The first consideration panel meetings are likely to take place in November. The panels are expected to meet three times a year.
For more information contact Lindsey Wilby, Project Manager, topic selection - email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 0161 209 3454.
This page was last updated: 24 June 2010