NICE public health remit cut back

NICE has been asked to drop work on six public health topics and to put a further five on hold.

Ministers believe that six topics previously referred to NICE are not appropriate for NICE guidance and should therefore be removed from the NICE work programme. These include advice on preventing unintentional road injuries, spatial planning for health and tackling tobacco use.

Professor Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE said NICE would ensure the work done so far on these topics would be available to those with an interest in them.

NICE has also been asked to put on hold five other pieces of guidance. These include those on: wellbeing of vulnerable children, contraceptive services for socially disadvantaged young people, sex education and using a ‘whole-systems' approach to obesity prevention.

Ministers are reviewing the need for NICE to produce guidance on eight further public health topics. These include recommendations on: increasing fruit and vegetable provision for disadvantaged communities, identification and management of overweight and obese children in primary care and developing transport policies that prioritise walking and cycling.

A DoH spokesperson said NICE would continue to have an important role in developing ‘robust, authoritative advice on public health interventions’.

‘We have made a few changes to some of the topics that NICE has been asked to produce guidance on,’ he said. ‘This ensures that NICE will develop guidance on the right topics that best address local needs.’

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