NICE decision-making needs scrutiny, says RCN

Changes to the NHS's approach to resource allocation need to be properly debated, the Royal College of Nursing believes.

The college has said it agrees that NICE should place more value on medicines that extend life or treat terminal conditions. But there needs to be a ‘full and proper debate' on the approach to resource allocation and funding in the NHS, it believes.

The RCN's views are set out in its response to NICE's consultation on appraising end-of-life medicines. ‘The work of NICE continues to place a spotlight on the issue of rationing,' the response says. ‘This short consultation touches on only a very small part of this debate.'

It adds: ‘This consultation is being used to endorse the view that certain patients are more deserving than others.  More debate is required on the issue of trading efficiency and equity and what factors are important to the public and patients in making resource allocation decisions.'

tom.moberly@haymarket.com

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