Commissioners face fines for not implementing NICE guidance

Clinical commissioners will face tough financial penalties if they fail to comply with NICE guidelines, the DoH has said.

In a report on how to encourage innovation in the NHS, the DoH pledged to introduce a NICE Compliance Regime to ensure ‘rapid and constant’ implementation of NICE-approved drugs technologies throughout the UK.

'Innovation Health and Wealth' said this would reduce variation and assure patients that they are able to access clinically and cost-effective drugs.

It said: ‘We are committed to ensuring that NHS patients have access to clinically and cost-effective drugs and technologies, and that NICE appraisal guidance is promptly delivered throughout the NHS.

‘There should be no local barriers to accessing technologies recommended in NICE appraisals, beyond a clinical decision relating to an individual patient.’

The report also said that clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will have a legal duty to promote innovation.

Capacity for innovation will be ‘integral’ to the CCG authorisation process, it added.

It said: ‘We will require the chief executive of every NHS commissioning organisation, including the NHS Commissioning Board, to take personal responsibility to ensure that arrangements are in place to champion research, innovation and adoption, and that the adoption and spread of proven innovation is central to their commissioning plans.’

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