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National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence- Good Practice Guidance

Volume 454: debated on Thursday 14 December 2006

“The Good Practice Guidance on Managing the Introduction of New Healthcare Interventions and Links to NICE Technology Appraisal Guidance” has been placed in the Library.

This good practice guidance responds to a number of requests received by the Department to update guidance originally issued in 1999 (HSC 1999/176). As it is no longer possible to issue health service circulars, this refreshed guidance is being issued as good practice guidance.

The updated guidance clarifies the intent of the advice originally published in HSC 1999/176 and expands on the advice that the National Health Service use existing arrangements to access the publicly available evidence by providing a list of available evidence resources. This list of resources provides a broad selection of different organisations that provide information on new healthcare interventions. By clarifying what these sources of evidence are, the NHS should be able to use this guidance as the starting point when making decisions on the use of new healthcare interventions.

Finally, and most importantly, the refreshed guidance makes clear that primary care trusts should not refuse to provide treatments simply because guidance from NICE is awaited and explains that the role of NICE is not to assess every healthcare technology intended for use in the NHS.

The purpose of the section on the three month funding direction is to clarify the original intention of the direction, which was recognition of the fact that it can take some time to put the necessary funding arrangements in place to make a health care intervention available to NHS patients. However, this direction does not intend for the three months to be used as a waiting period prior to implementing NICE guidance.