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Central Research And Development Committee (Crdc) Standing Group On Health Technology Terms Of Reference

Volume 229: debated on Friday 23 July 1993

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1. To advise on priorities for health technology assessment (HTA1 ), including

  • (i) studies involving the collection and analysis of new data;
  • (ii) reviews of such studies;
  • (iii) reports on the current state of the development, diffusion and likely impact of new technologies;
  • and having regard to:

  • (a) the work of other Central Research and Development Committee (CRDC) advisory groups;
  • (b) the Government's health strategy and other policy priorities for the National Health Service;
  • (c) the likely benefits, risks, costs and broader impact of technologies;
  • (d) the stage of the technology's evolution and diffusion, and the likely impact of an assessment on practice;
  • (e) existing HTA findings both from work in the United Kingdom and from relevant work abroad;
  • (f) any specific issue(s) on which the CRDC may seek advice.
  • 2. To advise on new technologies where, because of their potential risk, cost, ethical implications or other relevant factors, there is a particular need to control diffusion until more information is available.

    3. To advise on priorities for research into methodologies of relevance to HTA, and in particular:

  • (i) methods of synthesising and reviewing existing data and findings;
  • (ii) experimental and non-experimental methods of assessing effectiveness;
  • (iii) economic evaluations;
  • (iv) strategies and methods for assessing emerging and developing technologies;
  • (v) methods which produce findings that are of relevance to as wide a range of settings as possible;
  • (vi) ways of evaluating the outputs, impact and cost-effectiveness of HTA.
  • 4. To advise on training needs in respect of the conduct of high quality HTA.


  • (i) To produce an initial report on priorities for assessments of establishing technologies, focusing in particular on technologies of relevance to more than one disease or patient group;
  • (ii) Thereafter, to advise on priorities in relation to new and emerging technologies.
  • 1 HTA is used here to refer to the assessment of the effectiveness, costs and broader impact of all procedures used by the health professionals to promote health, to prevent and treat disease, and to improve rehabilitation and long term care.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the budget of the NHS central research and development committee standing group on health technology.

    The work of the standing group is challenging, and widespread consultation with the national health service, the professions, the research community and industry are essential. It is not possible to include expertise in all areas in one group and the standing group will be underpinned by six advisory panels covering the acute sector; pharmaceuticals; population screening; primary and community care; diagnostics, imaging and monitoring; and methodologies. Funding of this scientific support will be around £150,000 in 1993–94.

    The priorities for research identified by the standing group will be brought to the attention of all relevant research funding bodies. Allocations of central and NHS resources to health technology assessment (HTA) will reflect the central research and development committee's views of the importance of this task in relation to other priorities, but it is anticipated that around half of NHS direct support for research will, in time, be allocated to HTA.