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NICE consults on what makes good social care

Citizens Council gives views as UK agency prepares to expand its remit

NICE office 

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has launched a public consultation on what factors should feature in its forthcoming social care guidance.

The body, which currently provides healthcare and medicines guidance for England and Wales, is due to have its remit expanded to include guidance for social care, but how this will be done is still to be determined.

As part of this process, the NICE Citizens Council, which consists of a diverse group of 30 members of the public, will meet on January 24 and 25 to hear expert advice on the topic of social care guidance, before each member gives their own viewpoint on the topic.

“As NICE's remit expands to cover producing guidance and quality standards on social care from April this year, NICE wants the public's viewpoint on particular aspects of how we undertake this new work,” said Sir Michael Rawlins, chair of NICE.

“The Citizens Council makes an important contribution to NICE's work by providing a snapshot of what the general public thinks about a range of issues where people might have widely differing opinions.”

NICE will then take into account the views expressed when developing its guidance and standards, and taking into account NICE's remit to ensure a “broad balance between the benefits and costs of care”.

This will include whether or not NICE's current methods and process for its healthcare activities apply to social care and, if they do, what new approaches are needed.

“To help explore these areas the Council will be asked to consider questions such as 'What does a good social care service look like?', and 'What are the values that should be reflected in our social care services?',” said Sir Michael.

The general public will also have a chance to comment on NICE's approach to social care guidelines when the views of the Citizens Council are posted on the NICE website.

This combined report will then be sent to the board of NICE for consideration ahead of April 1, when the Institute will assume its new social capabilities under the name the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

It will also become a non-departmental public body as part of plans previously announced in the Health and Social Care Act.

Discussions by the Citizens Council will not involve how this care will be funded, as this is not part of NICE's role.

22nd January 2013

From: Healthcare

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