National Institiue for Health and Clinical Excellence

Annual Review - 2012/2013

Placing the public at the heart of NICE

NICE is committed to involving patients, carers and the public in the development of its guidance, quality standards and other advice products. By involving the very people for whom the guidance will be relevant, we put the needs and preferences of patients and the public at the heart of our work.

In 2012/13, NICE put on two events to help prepare for the role of producing social care guidance and standards. The Equality Forum held in November 2012 looked at what equalities considerations NICE would need to take into account as part of its move into the social care world. NICE’s Citizen’s Council met in January 2013 to discuss what aspects of benefit, cost and need should NICE take into account when developing social care guidance.

NICE recruited 113 lay people to work across 61 NICE groups and committees during 2012/13. In addition, 62 lay people gave expert testimony at committees, and 15 lay people joined our Commissioning Topic Advisory Groups.

Throughout the year, NICE ran 10 training workshops for lay members, and 3 training workshops for Guideline Development Group chairs.

Working with the Patients Involved in NICE group, we ran four workshops on various aspects of NICE’s work for lay stakeholder organisations. Following the success of these workplaces, planning is now underway to run more next year with a view to encouraging new organisations, particularly those with a social care focus, to learn more about NICE.

NICE produces Information for the Public products which make it easier for the public to understand NICE’s recommendations on a given topic. This year, these products were recertified by the Information Standard who complimented NICE on the high quality of the processes used to develop the products.

The Information Standard believes that NICE should be considered a role model for producing public friendly guides, adding that ‘consideration might be given to sharing the sound practice used by NICE with other organisations who might wish to seek certification under the Information Standard.’

A public perspective

Susie Morrow served as a community member on the Public Health Programme Development Group responsible for producing the guidance on walking and cycling, published in November 2012.

Q: “How did you get involved with NICE?”

A:  “It happened through my involvement as a trustee of Living Streets, the national charity that stands up for pedestrians.  I found out at a Living Streets Supporters Conference that NICE was looking for community members for its walking and cycling guidance and successfully applied."

Q: “What was your role within the Programme Development Group?”

A: “It was to ask questions, highlighting particular concerns among the walking and cycling campaigning community, and drawing on my campaign networks and contacts.  Also, both during meetings and via email, making comments and wording suggestions on draft documents – quite a few of which were taken up.“

Q: “How important is it that NICE involves the public in the creation of its guidance?”

A: “It’s vitally important for several reasons.  It provides a useful 'sanity check' on the guidance development process and ensures that the concerns of particular population groups get an airing. This enables a variety of perspectives to be brought to bear on the guidance as it's produced and increases the credibility, and I believe uptake, of the final guidance.”

Q: “Did you find that the opinions of lay members were taken on board by the group?”

A: “I think our contributions were very fairly judged as part of the guidance development process. It's fair to say that the community members had a significant influence on the group's work.”

Q: “Did you enjoy the experience and would you recommend it to others?”

A: “It felt very comfortable working with colleagues who are committed to rational argument and evidence, and to using evidence in a practical way to effect positive change.  So, yes, I really enjoyed the whole experience and would recommend it to others who value this kind of collaborative, evidence-based approach to producing an outcome which seeks to make a positive difference to people's lives.”


In 2012/13, NICE put on two public events to help prepare for the role of producing social care guidance and quality standards