National Institiue for Health and Clinical Excellence

Annual Review - 2012/2013
NICE International

Helping to improve the quality of health systems around the world

Over the past 5 years, together with colleagues from across the globe, NICE International has helped empower policy-makers to make decisions that are evidence-based and procedurally fair, in order to improve the quality and efficiency of their health systems.

The team offers advice and support on a not-for-profit, fee-for-service basis to help countries deliver the best healthcare to the people who live there.

This year has been a turning point for the team. Funding was secured from the Health Partnership Scheme to work in India and China, with a focus on technical assistance and creating South-South partnerships.

NICE International was also awarded an institutional grant by the Rockefeller Foundation to support the Ministries of Health in Vietnam, Ghana and the Philippines (the latter in partnership with the Thai Ministry of Public Health) with their aim to achieve universal health coverage.

In December 2012, the UN General Assembly voted in favour of universal health coverage, a move that has significance for the work of the NICE International team.

NICE International will draw on its strong track record in the publicly funded, universal system of the NHS to contribute to the growing global momentum for universal health coverage.

To date, NICE International has delivered hands-on technical projects in 35 countries, and provided technical assistance to countries including Brazil, China, India, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam during 2012/13.

One of the major projects for the team in 2012 was to assist the government of Kerala in India in its quality improvement efforts by providing technical support to develop quality standards on maternal care.

This was in partnership with the National Rural Health Mission, the Kerala Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the State’s Departments of Health Services and Medical Education.

The standards are a set of concise statements and measurable indicators covering the management of post-partum haemorrhage and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, the leading causes of maternal mortality in Kerala, as identified by the confidential review of maternal death published by Kerala federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

They are based on a range of clinical guidelines, including those produced by NICE, the World Health Organization, and the Kerala Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. They were developed through structured workshops and consultation involving a wide range of stakeholders including policy makers, technical staff, maternity professionals and hospital managers.

Sri Oommen Chandy, Chief Minister of Kerala, launched the standards on 15 January 2013, in the presence of the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Anna Soubry and NICE International.

The standards will be piloted in 2013 in 8 public and private hospitals across Kerala, and will be rolled out to all maternity hospitals in the state. In addition, there are plans to share experience and know-how with other states such as Bihar in the north.

Read more about the work of NICE International in their 2012 Review.

Informing China's rural health reforms

In November 2012, NICE International and the Chinese government jointly launched phase II of a project to rationalise clinical practice in rural China.

This built on phase I of the ‘Clinical Pathways’ project on surgical interventions. Phase II will focus on chronic diseases, including stroke and COPD, which are the major causes of illness in rural China.

This is the first time integrated care pathways for managing chronic diseases are explored, including primary and secondary prevention, community care, and rehabilitation. The aim of the project is to directly inform the country’s rural health reforms.

More than 100 people attended the launch of phase II, with representatives from the 3 hospitals piloting Clinical Pathways, based in Hanbin, Shaanxi; Qianjiang, Chongqing; and Jiaonan, Shandong. Senior officials also attended from the ministries of Health, Commerce, Finance, Human Resources and Social Security, and from the Health Care Reform Office of the State Council, which is part of the National Development and Reform Commission of China.

Also participating were international experts from India and Nepal, including Nepal’s Ambassador to China, and NHS professionals and academics from King’s College London, the University of Oxford, and University College London.

NICE International will draw on its strong track record in the NHS to contribute to the growing global momentum for universal health coverage