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How we work

We are internationally recognised for the way in which we develop our recommendations, a rigorous process that is centred on using the best available evidence and includes the views of experts, patients and carers, and industry.

We do not decide on the topics for our guidance and appraisals. Instead, topics are referred to us by the Department of Health.

Topics are selected on the basis of a number of factors, including the burden of disease, the impact on resources, and whether there is inappropriate variation in practice across the country.

Our guidance is then created by independent and unbiased advisory committees.

Take our clinical guidelines for example, where we commission four external centres and one internal centre to produce them on our behalf, according to the topic area.

The National Clinical Guideline Centre is the largest of these centres; it was established in 2009 from a merger of 4 smaller guideline-producing centres specialising in acute care, chronic conditions, primary care, and nursing and supportive care.

The other three external centres that currently produce guidance are the National Collaborating Centre for Cancer, the National Collaborating Centre for Women´s and Children´s Health, and the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health.

Staying up-to-date

The world of health and medicine is a fast moving one, with thousands of research papers published every year. To keep pace with the changes, we make sure that our guidance is regularly reviewed to remain up-to-date and to take into account any new evidence that may influence our recommendations.

Open and transparent

We have an open and transparent consultation process throughout the development of our guidance and quality standards which allows individuals, patient groups, charities and industry to comment on our recommendations.

In cases where we have to reject the use of a drug on the grounds of cost, we encourage drug companies to submit a patient-access scheme. Patient access schemes are special ways pharmaceutical companies can propose to enable patients to gain access to high costs drugs. This can help lower the overall cost of a drug on the NHS.

Have your say

We value the input of patients, carers and the general public in the development of our guidance and other 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 2002 we established the Citizens Council, the UK's first advisory body made up entirely of members of the public from across the UK.

The Citizens Council has produced a range of reports on challenging issues facing NICE, including the use of incentives to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle.

The council's recommendations and conclusions have been incorporated into a document called Social Value Judgements which describes the principles that NICE and its advisory bodies should use when making decisions about the clinical and cost effectiveness of interventions.

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This page was last updated: 27 November 2013

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Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.

Selected, reliable information for health and social care in one place

Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.

Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.