Being able to comment online on NICE guidance is an integral part of the consultation process which allows stakeholders to contribute to the recommendations NICE ultimately makes.
Consultations are a critical part of developing effective guidance and quality standards at NICE, with stakeholders feeding back comments into this process.
Developing a system which would improve the turnaround time, effectiveness and ability to manage comments is important, now more than ever to individuals, healthcare organisation and NICE teams who review consultations.
In the digital services team at NICE we have been working to improve how stakeholders can comment on consultations through our website.
The new service, which we will be launching later this year for some of our consultations, will see a significant reduction in the number of documents needed to submit a response, making commenting easier and quicker.
The new service will allow users to work on a document in a webpage, without having to download it. They will be able to select the section of the guidance they are interested in and type in the comment within the web page. There will no separate forms to fill and no need to go back and forth to cross-reference multiple documents.
The new system makes it easier for NICE teams too, to request comments and process responses more effectively, by removing the need to send out and receive multiple forms.
As we have found out, from the prototype and user research, our external stakeholders want a quicker and more consistent way to comment and a more streamlined interface. This includes an improved way to show which section a comment refers to, helping our teams processing of the comments before responding to them.
The new service will launch later this year with a live consultation. This will provide us with further feedback to improve the service, something we are committed to.
The new system is expected to support staff and stakeholders across most of NICE’s programmes, to enable them to manage collectively over 500 consultations a year.