NICE consults on social values
Should social background, age or lifestyle ever influence the Institute's decisions? How much influence should cost-effectiveness analysis have on its recommendations? These are just two of the questions NICE has tackled in its second edition of 'Social value judgements: principles for the development of NICE guidance'.
The draft guidance, which will go out for public consultation at the end of November, describes the social values that the Institute believes should underpin all its guidance - including the processes used to develop it.
Since the first edition was published (in December 2005), the Institute's Citizens' Council has debated a range of relevant issues - and it has made a significant contribution to the latest draft. (The Council is made up of 30 members of the public who reflect the age, gender, socioeconomic status and ethnicity of people in England and Wales.) Issues it has formed a view on include: patient safety, health inequalities (how social factors such as low income, employment status and ethnicity influence people's health), mandatory public health measures and 'only in research' recommendations.Further input has come from:
- published comments and a survey of NICE advisory bodies on the first edition
- comments from NICE staff on the Citizens Council reports outlined above
- legislation on human rights, discrimination and equality
- a report from a roundtable discussion on contemporary bioethics and political philosophy involving leading academics in the two areas
- a consultative workshop involving members of the Institute's staff, its advisory bodies and outside experts.
'Social value judgements: principles for the development of NICE guidance' is not aimed at the NHS in general or bodies responsible for public health. Decisions about individual patient care will be left in the hands of the NHS and the professionals responsible for the public's health. However, it will be of interest to the wider public and the Institute's many stakeholders.
The public consultation starts on 30 November 2007 and will run for 3 months. Details will be available in the ´Get involved´ section of the NICE website. Comments are welcome via the website: all comments received will be considered by the NICE board. In the meantime, the first edition of ´Social value judgements´ is available here
This page was last updated: 24 June 2010