NICE predicted to have greater rationing role

NICE's role could expand to effectively controlling all NHS rationing decisions, according to one of its top officials.

Gillian Leng
Gillian Leng

Dr Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive of NICE, told a Westminster Health Forum event in London last week that it could play a bigger role in controlling resources as the NHS's finances worsen.

NICE currently calculates the cost-effectiveness of drugs and technology and issues guidance on the best clinical treatments.

Its role was expanded following Lord Darzi's 2008 NHS review to cover setting QOF indicators and quality standards for clinical pathways.

But Dr Leng told delegates that NICE could highlight saving opportunities for commissioners, and even ‘identify areas of healthcare where activity could be reduced or stopped'.


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