11 After the appeal

11.1 What is the timescale for the appeal decision?

In both the oral and written appeal processes, the Appeal Panel will aim to send its decision in writing to NICE within 15 working days of the appeal. There may be circumstances in which more time is needed. The appeal decision is then considered by the Guidance Executive. The Guidance Executive consists of the NICE Senior Management Team and is chaired by the NICE Chief Executive. Figure 3 summarises the appeal process from the release of the appeal decision to its publication as well as the publication of the guidance.

11.2 Outcome of an appeal

Appeal upheld and final draft guidance returned to the advisory committee

If 1 or more of the appeal points are upheld and it is necessary for the final draft guidance to be returned to the advisory committee, the Guidance Executive will aim to consider the appeal decision within 15 working days of receipt. The Guidance Executive will decide how to act on the decision of the Appeal Panel. The appeal decision is normally published within 10 working days of its consideration by the Guidance Executive. Consultees (including appellants) and commentators are informed of the appeal decision and details of when the final draft guidance will be reconsidered by the advisory committee, 2 working days before publication of the appeal decision.

The technology will be returned to the relevant programme and work will start on reviewing the guidance as advised by the Appeal Panel and agreed by the NICE Guidance Executive.

The advisory committee will meet to consider the Appeal Panel's decision for review. The advisory committee will then produce revised final draft guidance. When the final draft guidance is produced, it will be distributed to consultees and commentators. Consultees will then have a further opportunity to appeal or to identify any factual errors.

If an appellant from the first appeal lodges another appeal, the appeal letter must not raise the same points presented in the first appeal or those points presented by another appellant at the first appeal hearing. The Appeal Panel will have already determined the outcome on these points.

If an appellant who did not participate in the first appeal hearing lodges an appeal, the appeal will need to satisfy the Vice Chair of NICE that one or more of the grounds has been met and has a reasonable prospect of success. The appeal process will follow its usual process and continue as either an oral or written appeal.

Only points that directly relate to the aspects of the revised final draft guidance associated with the appeal decision will be considered.

Appeal Panel requests changes to the final draft guidance but no further consideration by the Committee

If the Appeal Panel asks the Guidance Executive to approve changes to the final draft guidance that do not require further consideration by the Committee, the Guidance Executive will aim to consider the appeal decision within 15 working days of receipt of the appeal decision. After the Guidance Executive meeting, editorial changes to final guidance are made if required and the final guidance is normally published on NICE's website within 15 working days. Consultees (including appellants) and commentators are informed of the date of publication, and are sent the Appeal Panel's decision and a copy of the final guidance 2 working days beforehand.

Appeal dismissed

If the appeal is dismissed and the Appeal Panel has not requested changes to the final draft guidance, the Guidance Executive will aim to consider the appeal decision within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal decision. After the Guidance Executive meeting, the final guidance is normally published on NICE's website within 15 working days. Consultees (including appellants) and commentators are informed of the date of publication, and are sent the Appeal Panel's decision and a copy of the final guidance 2 working days beforehand.

11.3 What happens after the appeal decision is published?

There is no possibility of further appeal against the decision of the Appeal Panel. However, this decision and NICE's decision to issue the final guidance may be challenged by applying to the High Court for permission to apply for a judicial review. Any such application must be made promptly and within 3 months of publishing the final guidance.

Figure 3 Summary of process for publishing the appeal decision and guidance