5 Implementation

5.1 The Healthcare Commission assesses the performance of NHS organisations in meeting core and developmental standards set by the Department of Health in 'Standards for better health' issued in July 2004. The Secretary of State has directed that the NHS provides funding and resources for medicines and treatments that have been recommended by NICE technology appraisals normally within 3 months from the date that NICE publishes the guidance. Core standard C5 states that healthcare organisations should ensure they conform to NICE technology appraisals.

5.2 'Healthcare standards for Wales' was issued by the Welsh Assembly Government in May 2005 and provides a framework both for self-assessment by healthcare organisations and for external review and investigation by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales. Standard 12a requires healthcare organisations to ensure that patients and service users are provided with effective treatment and care that conforms to NICE technology appraisal guidance. The Assembly Minister for Health and Social Services issued a Direction in October 2003 that requires local health boards and NHS trusts to make funding available to enable the implementation of NICE technology appraisal guidance, normally within 3 months.

5.3 The Department of Health and the manufacturer have agreed that ranibizumab will be available to the NHS with a patient access scheme (as revised in 2012) which makes ranibizumab available at a reduced cost to the NHS. The size of the discount is commercial in confidence. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to communicate details of the discount to the relevant NHS organisations. Any enquiries from NHS organisations about the patient access scheme should be directed to Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK by emailing commercial.team@novartis.com or calling 01276 698717.

5.4 When NICE recommends a treatment 'as an option', the NHS must make sure it is available within the period set out in the paragraph above. This means that, if a patient has age-related macular degeneration and the doctor responsible for their care thinks that ranibizumab or pegaptanib is the right treatment, it should be available for use, in line with NICE's recommendations.

5.5 NICE has developed tools to help organisations implement this guidance (listed below).

  • Costing report and costing template to estimate the savings and costs associated with implementation.

  • Audit support for monitoring local practice.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)