The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for assessing the effectiveness of new procedures and providing guide valve implantation was published by NICE in June 2008. NICE found that the evidence for effectiveness was limited to small numbers of patients who were considered to be at high risk for conventional cardiac surgery. It showed good short-term efficacy for such patients but there was little evidence available on long-term outcomes.
The Department has worked with NICE and the relevant professional bodies to ensure that proper clinical audit of all patients receiving transcatheter aortic valve implantation is carried out so that outcomes can be assessed.
The Department does not collect this information centrally. The Specialised Services Commissioning Groups, which are responsible for decisions on funding highly specialised services (subject to the funding priorities of their constituent primary care trusts), are in the process of agreeing a framework based on service criteria agreed by the relevant professional societies which will lead to designation of certain centres for this procedure within each strategic health authority area. Designated centres would then receive funding. It is understood that Yorkshire and Humberside Specialised Commissioning Group has already reached an agreement ahead of finalising the commissioning framework.