The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on deep brain stimulation for tremor and dystonia (excluding Parkinson's disease).
This procedure involves inserting very fine needles into the brain through small holes made in the skull to determine the exact position of the nucleus, which may be different in each patient. This part of the procedure is usually carried out under local anaesthetic. Once the nucleus is identified, a permanent electrode is placed into it. Under general anaesthetic, this electrode is then connected to a pulse generator, which is implanted subcutaneously on the anterior chest wall.
This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account. However, the guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.