Implantable cardioverter defibrillators are recommended as a possible treatment for people who have had a serious ventricular arrhythmia, who have an inherited heart condition linked to a high risk of sudden death, or who have had surgery to repair congenital heart disease.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and cardiac resynchronisation therapy with defibrillation or pacing, are recommended as possible treatments for certain people with heart failure because of left ventricular dysfunction (see the guidance for more information).

What does this mean for me?

If you have an arrhythmia or heart failure, and your doctor thinks that an implantable cardioverter defibrillator or cardiac resynchronisation therapy with defibrillation or pacing is the right treatment, you should be able to have the treatment on the NHS.

This guidance replaces NICE technology appraisal guidance 95 issued in January 2006 and NICE technology appraisal guidance 120 issued in May 2007.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guidance represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, health professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients. The application of the recommendations in this guidance is at the discretion of health professionals and their individual patients and do not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to provide the funding required to enable the guidance to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients wish to use it, in accordance with the NHS Constitution. They should do so in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities.

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