NICE Annual Report 2006/07
The first national guideline addressing both prevention and treatment of a condition, a faster process for appraising new technologies and the introduction of commissioning guides are just a few of the highlights of the past financial year for NICE. These highlights - and more - are described in the ‘NICE annual report 2006/07'. Many are supported by case studies and articles describing how the Institute's advice and tools are being used.
The prevention and treatment guideline - on how to tackle obesity in adults and children - contains wide-ranging recommendations, not just for the NHS, but for schools and early years providers, local authorities, employers and town planners. It also provides advice for individuals on how they can maintain a healthy weight. Readers can find out how it is being implemented in Hertfordshire, where schools have adopted a ‘whole-school approach' to tackling the problem. Healthy Schools coordinator, Liz Biggs, explains how advice in the classroom is backed up in the dining room - and in terms of the type of activities encouraged in the playground.
The introduction of the single technology appraisal (STA) process was another important achievement of 2006/07. Although based on the same process as multiple technology appraisals, STAs focus on just one technology, leading to decisions within 32-39 rather than 60 or more weeks. Medical staff waiting for advice on the use of Herceptin (to treat breast cancer) were the first to benefit from this speedier response.
Readers can also find out how NICE's clinical guideline on bipolar disorder will help speed diagnosis of this condition. Up to now, it has taken an average 8 years from a person first experiencing symptoms according to Steven Pilling, consultant clinical psychologist and joint director of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health. The guideline sets out the criteria for referring patients on for specialist psychiatric assessment and treatment.
The clinical guideline process itself was reviewed by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO praised its overall organisation and the use of a respected methodology. It was also impressed with how links had been established with the royal colleges and how patients and stakeholders are involved.
Other important milestones of 2006/07 included the development of a range of tools to aid implementation of the Institute's guidance. These include the NICE commissioning guides (http://www.nice.org.uk/commissioningGuides), web-based tools which aim to help the NHS reduce spending on treatments that do not improve patient care or do not represent good value for money.
This page was last updated: 24 June 2010