NICE to expand as part of White Paper reforms

NICE's role is set to expand significantly under plans outlined in the health White Paper.

The institute will be required to ‘rapidly’ increase its library of care pathways, creating a library of 150 care standards by 2015

It will also need to produce quality standards for social care and advise the National Institute for Health Research on research priorities.

Local priorities for GP commissioning, which will set annually, are to be based on NICE guidance, as will commissioning contracts and financial incentives.

The White Paper says that NICE’s independence is to be secured through this autumn’s health bill which will put NICE on a ‘firmer statutory footing’.

But it warned that NHS care must not be distorted by the selection of unrepresentative outcome indicators.

If data on outcomes were incomplete, there could be perverse incentives for the NHS to avoid treating high-risk patients or reducing focus on poorly monitored outcomes could appear, it said.

 Click here to view health White Paper 2010 news and analysis

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