3 Timings for developing interventional procedures guidance

3 Timings for developing interventional procedures guidance

NICE is aware of the importance of timeliness when producing guidance on the efficacy and safety of novel interventional procedures. It aims to minimise how long there is uncertainty about the use of procedures before guidance is issued.

Table 1 shows how long each stage in the process normally takes. The length of time between notification and agreement of the brief by the Committee is highly variable, depending on the need to get more information about the procedure. For example, for some topics, it may be necessary to make more enquiries to find out how widely the procedure is being used in the NHS, or whether there is an evidence base with which to assess it. It is not always possible to achieve the standard times for each stage.

If the programme is made aware of a trial that is due to publish, this may influence the timing of guidance production.

Table 1 Standard timeline for NICE to develop interventional procedures guidance

Week

Event

Preparation phase

0

The procedure is notified to NICE.

8

The Committee agrees the brief. This phase can take longer than 8 weeks, for example, if NICE has to find further information on the use of the procedure, the available evidence or the licensing status of any devices that are used in the procedure.

Guidance development

0–10

NICE produces the overview. Specialist advisers and patient commentators provide comments about the procedure.

13

The Committee considers the evidence and commentary on the procedure and produces draft recommendations. A consultation document is produced.

20–24 

The consultation document and overview are posted on NICE's website for a 20‑working‑day consultation period.

26

The Committee considers consultation comments. A final document is produced. Any late comments from patient commentators may also be considered by the Committee at this stage.

30

The final document is considered by the NICE Guidance Executive.

30–33 

The final document is open to resolution requests (15 working days).

For procedures not needing resolution, guidance is issued to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The lay version of the guidance ('information for the public') is also published. (A Welsh version is published at a later date.)

37

For procedures needing resolution, guidance is issued to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The lay version of the guidance ('information for the public') is also published. (A Welsh version is published at a later date.)