5.1 The Secretary of State and the Welsh Assembly Minister for Health and Social Services have issued directions to the NHS in England and Wales on implementing NICE technology appraisal guidance. When a NICE technology appraisal recommends use of a drug or treatment, or other technology, the NHS must usually provide funding and resources for it within 3 months of the guidance being published. If the Department of Health issues a variation to the 3-month funding direction, details will be available on the NICE website. When there is no NICE technology appraisal guidance on a drug, treatment or other technology, decisions on funding should be made locally.
5.2 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 schizophrenia and the doctor responsible for their care thinks that aripiprazole is the right treatment, it should be available for use, in line with NICE's recommendations.
5.3 NICE has developed tools to help organisations put this guidance into practice (listed below).
A costing statement explaining the resource impact of this guidance.
Audit support for monitoring local practice.