Social care heads the new agenda for NICE
Integrating health and social care is "absolutely fundamental" to helping drive up the quality of patient care, as NICE outlines plans to extend its remit into social care guidance for adults and children.
Speaking at the NICE annual conference in Birmingham today, Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, Chairman of NICE, said that NICE will be re-established and strengthened to take on social care.
"It is crucial that we join up health and social care services to prevent another case of neglect like Victoria Climbie," said Professor Rawlins.
"We will be doing social care in most of the areas where we have already done a guideline. But the evidence base will be different so we are in a learning and listening mode at the moment."
Other experts including Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, and Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director, all agreed that integrating health and social care was an important thing to do.
As well as developing social care standards, NICE will also be increasing its output of medical technology guidance and diagnostic evaluations and producing quality standards and commissioning guides.
A new version of NHS Evidence and the launch of NICE Pathways, a new online tool for health and social care professionals that will provide a complete care pathway for a particular condition such as stroke, were also highlighted by Professor Rawlins as exciting new initiatives as NICE moves forward.
Professor Rawlins, who was addressing the conference as Chairman of NICE for the final time, said he had taken great pride in watching NICE grow over the years.
"We have produced over 800 individual pieces of guidance over the last 12 years. From 1999- 2010 we produced 204 technology appraisals, and contrary to popular belief we only say no in about 10 per cent of cases.
"We have also produced 130 clinical guidelines, 380 pieces of guidance on interventional procedures and 31 pieces of public health guidance which have had real traction in helping to improve healthcare."
But Professor Rawlins conceded that the implementation of guidance had been an area that had been that had overlooked when NICE was first set up.
"It should have formed the development of guidance. But since 2002, it has been included and now NICE recognises four key elements of implement; raising awareness, motivating and inspiring people to change, providing practical support through costing tools and field visits, and evaluating impact."
10 May 2010