NICE faces 'challenge' to prepare consortia targets

Producing all 150 NICE quality standards in time for them to be used to determine consortia's quality premiums will be 'challenging', NICE has said.

NICE's quality standards seek to define the gold standard of care for a range of conditions. The full library of 150 standards will be used to create QOF-like indicators against which GP consortia will be measured.

So far, NICE has only produced eight standards and just 31 more are due over the next two to three years.

Dr Fergus Macbeth, director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE, told attendees at the annual conference last week: 'There is this aspiration that there will be a core library of around 150 topics over the next five years. I have to confess it's going to be quite a challenge to get there.'

Quality standards draw on NICE guidance which GP consortia will need to put into practice if departing PCTs have failed to satisfy NHS Commissioning Board audits.

The full library of quality standards is not expected until at least 2015, meaning it will be several years until they can be used to judge commissioning across all disease areas.

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