NICE Listens is a new programme of public engagement. It's been developed to give us an understanding of public opinion on moral, ethical and social value issues.
It will help us make sure that our policies on complex and controversial issues reflect the values of members of the public.
Why we need NICE Listens
Meaningful public engagement is one of the principles at the heart of NICE. We do this in a number of ways:
- Guidance-producing programmes consult the public on draft guidance and changes to our methods and processes.
- Our Public Involvement Programme develops and supports the participation of people who use services, carers and members of the public, along with the organisations that represent their interests.
- The Audience Insight Programme conducts polls, interviews and focus groups that help us better understand audience perceptions about NICE. This information then informs the continual development of our products.
These forms of engagement work well for guidance development, methods changes and service improvement. NICE Listens is a valuable addition that gives us a way to debate and discuss moral, ethical and social value issues.
By ensuring that our approach to complex and controversial issues reflects the values of informed members of the public, we can build greater legitimacy and enhance public trust, while demonstrating our commitment to working with people."
Gillian Leng CBE
Chief executive, NICE
How NICE Listens will work
Using best practice methods, we’ll work with external contractors who specialise in public engagement.
A new sample of members of the public will be invited to take part in each topic. They'll be given time to learn and become familiar with the topic area, before discussing it in detail and making recommendations.
These recommendations will then be used by our executive team and board to inform various aspects of our work.
We identify topics by working closely with our staff, board and external partners to understand the most relevant and immediate issues they're facing.
The first topic is health inequalities. Further topics will be added as they're identified and agreed.
Striking a balance between maximising health gains and addressing health inequalities is challenging. It needs active engagement with the public to understand the social value judgements involved.
We need to gather up to date public opinion in this area, to help us put together a policy response. We've commissioned the research agency, Basis Research, to help us deliver this project. The results are expected to be available in January 2022.
You can read more about the work we've previously done around reducing health inequalities in our Community engagement: improving health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities guidance.
Email the NICE Listens team if you'd like more information about the programme.
NICE Listens is a collaboration between our Science, Policy and Research Programme and our Public Involvement Programme.