National Institiue for Health and Clinical Excellence

Annual Review - 2012/2013

Chair's and Chief Executive's foreword

It has been a year of change for those working in the health and social care sectors, and at NICE we have been busy laying down the groundwork for our contribution to the support that those who use and provide services will need in the new system.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 set out our responsibilities from April 2013 and authorised our move into social care. This is a significant change, and one that reflects the growing recognition that in order to improve the quality of care, and to make budgets go further, greater integration of services across health and social care is necessary.

In preparation, in August 2012  we consulted on two pilot quality standards for social care based on guidelines we produced on the wellbeing of people living with dementia and the care of looked-after children and young people.

The pilot standards gave us a valuable opportunity to test out our methods and processes prior to receiving the first set of topics for health and social care quality standards from the Department of Health in September 2012. The topics include; autism in adults and children, child maltreatment, mental wellbeing of older people in residential care and medicines management in care homes.

In January 2013, we awarded a contract to the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), and its partner organisations, to support us with the development, adoption and dissemination of social care guidance and quality standards, as the NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care.

Ahead of local government taking back responsibility of commissioning public health services, we published our first set of public health briefings in July 2012 to address some of the major challenges facing society – the use of tobacco, alcohol, and lack of physical activity. The briefings raise awareness and provide information about the recommendations and evidence reviews from NICE that local government can call upon when commissioning public health services.

We have continued to provide advice to help ensure that NHS patients are offered care that is known to be clinically and cost effective. This is now more important than ever before as the NHS endures one of the most financially constrained periods in its history.

During the course of this year, we published 90 sets of recommendations, including:

  • updated clinical guidelines on fertility which expanded the range of options for couples having problems with conception
  • public health guidance to encourage walking and cycling
  • diagnostic guidance on depth of anaesthesia monitors
  • medical technologies guidance on WatchBP Home, a device for picking up cases of atrial fibrillation during the monitoring of hypertension

Two new products were launched in December 2012 to help the NHS reduce variation in drug prescribing. The first was our evidence summaries to provide high-quality advice to the NHS and patients in England about the use of new, unlicensed and off-label medicines. This was closely followed by our first good practice guide to help trusts develop and update local formularies, as part of a move to ensure that all patients in England have access to clinically and cost-effective drugs. We will be following this up with further good practice guides that will provide advice and guides on good practice for those involved in handling, prescribing, commissioning medicines.

Our quality standards programme continues to expand with 12 new standards published on topics which included lung cancer, antenatal care, asthma and epilepsy. Quality standards will be reflected in NHS England’s Clinical Commissioning Group Outcome Indicator Set (CCGOIS), which will aim to drive local improvements in quality and outcomes for patients. In January 2013, we put forward for consultation 32 new indicators for the CCGOIS, on topics which inluded dementia, cancer and end-of-life care,

We have continued with our work developing clinical indicators for the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) for GP practices in the UK. New indicators were recommended to help improve levels of care for people with condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and COPD.

In keeping with calls for the NHS to become paperless, we have made all of our new clinical guidelines and public health guidance, and much of our back catalogue, available in NICE Pathways – our easy to use flowcharts containing all of our guidance in one place on a particular topic.

We have built on the success of our NICE guidance app, which has been downloaded over 60,000 times, and have developed new British National Formulary and BNF for children apps for use on smart phones and tablets.

On the 1 April 2013, Professor David Haslam will take over from Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, whose highly successful 14-year tenure as Chair comes to an end.

By the time we produce our next annual review, we will celebrating our first anniversary as a Non Departmental Public Body set up under primary legislation, and fully embracing our new remit in social care.

As NICE continues to evolve, what remains as a constant is the hard work and dedication of our staff, our advisory bodies, our stakeholders, contractors and everyone who has given their time to help us with our work. NICE would simply not be able to grow without them. It is once again our pleasure to thank them for their commitment to their work, to NICE, to the NHS and to the health of the nation.

Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, Chair

Sir Andrew Dillon, Chief Executive


NICE has been busy laying down the groundwork to support those who use and provide services in the new system