NICE Citizens Council to discuss factors for NICE to take into account when developing social care guidance

The question of which aspects of benefit, cost and need NICE should take into account when developing social care guidance will be discussed at the next Citizens Council meeting, taking place in Manchester next week.

The Citizens Council of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which provides public input into the Institute's work, holds its next meeting on 24 and 25 of January 2013. At this meeting the Citizens Council will be asked to consider factors that NICE should bear in mind when it takes on its new remit for producing social care guidance from April 2013. The Citizens Council will hear evidence from speakers covering all aspects of this topic, before taking part in thorough discussions to examine the issues in detail.

The Citizens Council consists of a diverse group of 30 individuals, reflecting the age, gender, socioeconomic status and ethnicity of the general public. It meets yearly to hear expert information on challenging topics and thoroughly discuss the issues raised. The Council is a formal committee of the Institute, which helps to identify broad social values and how NICE might consider them in preparing its guidance. For each topic discussed, the Council's view is captured in reports which provide advice to NICE and its independent committees about aspects of methodology and process; the Citizens Council does not directly input into NICE's guidance.

Sir Michael Rawlins, Chair of NICE, said: “As NICE's remit expands to cover producing guidance and quality standards on social care from April this year, NICE wants the public's viewpoint on particular aspects of how we undertake this new work. The Citizens Council makes an important contribution to NICE's work by providing a snapshot of what the general public thinks about a range of issues where people might have widely differing opinions. The views expressed by the Citizens Council can then be taken into account by NICE when developing its processes and methods for producing guidance and standards.

“The legislation which sets out NICE's new remit for social care states that it must take into account ‘the broad balance between the benefits and costs' of care and people's ‘degree of need' for care. Importantly, deciding how social care is paid for will not be part of NICE's role, so the CitizensCouncil will not be asked to consider how care should be funded.

“On this occasion, the Council will be asked to deliberate what are the important aspects of ‘benefit', ‘cost' and ‘need' that NICE should consider. These points are similar to those that NICE was asked to take into account when it started producing clinical and public health guidance. NICE is working towards a way of integrating its development of health and social care standards and guidance, while recognising there are important differences between health and social care. Therefore, we would like the Council's views on which of NICE's current methods and processes apply to social care, which may need to be adapted and whether any new approaches need to be developed. To help explore these areas the Council will be asked to consider questions such as ‘What does a good social care service look like?', and ‘What are the values that should be reflected in our social care services?'.

“We are keen to hear from the Citizens Council on precisely this kind of complex social values issue, as it will provide insights into the public's viewpoint for our independent advisory committees to take into account when they develop guidance and standards in this area.”

A report on the Council's views will be available on the NICE website for public comment, before the Council submits a report to the Board of NICE setting out its findings.


Notes to Editors

1. A very limited number of places will be available to attend the presentations in Manchester on Thursday 24 January and Friday 25 January. Journalists interested in attending should contact Tonya Gillis in the NICE Press Office at or 0845 003 7782 for further information. All potential attendees must send a registration request in advance, by 12pm on Wednesday 23 January.

2. Since it was set up, the Citizens Council has provided valuable input on a range of issues including: incentives to promote individual behaviour change, patient safety, harm reduction in smoking, and ‘only in research' recommendations. Previous reports are available.

3. The Health and Social Care Act (2012) sets out a new responsibility for NICE to develop guidance and quality standards for social care. To reflect this new role, from 1 April 2013 NICE will be called the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and it will become a Non-Departmental Public Body.

About NICE

4. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance and standards on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health

5. NICE produces guidance in three areas of health:

  • public health - guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention of ill health for those working in the NHS, local authorities and the wider public and voluntary sector
  • health technologies - guidance on the use of new and existing medicines, treatments, medical technologies (including devices and diagnostics) and procedures within the NHS
  • clinical practice - guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS.

6. NICE produces standards for patient care:

  • quality standards - these reflect the very best in high quality patient care, to help healthcare practitioners and commissioners of care deliver excellent services
  • Quality and Outcomes Framework - NICE develops the clinical and health improvement indicators in the QOF, the Department of Health scheme which rewards GPs for how well they care for patients
  • CCG Outcomes Indicator Set (formerly known as COF) - NICE develops the potential clinical health improvement indicators to ensure quality of care for patients and communities served by the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)

7. NICE provides advice and support on putting NICE guidance and standards into practice through its implementation programme, and it collates high quality guidance and evidence-based information to help professionals deliver the best patient care through NHS Evidence.

This page was last updated: 16 January 2013

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Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.