Non-NICE Appraised Treatments

Health written question – answered on 20th October 2004.

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Photo of Mr Andy King Mr Andy King Labour, Rugby and Kenilworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements are in place for the period to 2008 to allow patients to be treated with non-National Institute for Clinical Excellence appraised treatments if it is their choice and their clinicians concur, in (a) hospital and (b) primary care.

Photo of John Hutton John Hutton Minister of State, Department of Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) (Health)

The national health service is expected to take full account of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance. Clinicians have to make an independent clinical judgment, taking due account of NICE's advice and the strength of evidence which lies behind it. They may depart from the advice if, in their view, the circumstances of the individual patient justify doing so. But they will be held accountable, through clinical governance arrangements, for their clinical decisions.

When considering the funding of any treatment currently being appraised by NICE, or where no appraisal has been commissioned, funding authorities are expected to use their existing local arrangements and consider the evidence available to them on the clinical effectiveness of the treatment.

The Department has made it clear to health authorities and primary care trust that funding for treatments should not be withheld simply because guidance from NICE is unavailable or not yet published and we are happy to reiterate that via the strategic health authorities.

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