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Public advises NICE on value of care

Citizens Council publishes report on the way health and social care resources are allocated in the UK
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence NICE logo

A group representing members of the general public in the UK has published its first draft report on what societal values should influence decisions made by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

The Citizens Council is a diverse group of 30 members of the general public that meets every year to hear expert information on challenging topics, discuss the issues raised and then provide advice to NICE, which sets standards and guidance for the NHS and social care in England and Wales.

For this recent report the Council was asked to provide NICE input into the societal values which influence decisions on how health and social care resources are allocated.

Prior to publishing its report, the Council looked at a series of case studies. These highlighted the dilemma posed by having to choose whether money is spent on caring for small numbers of people with high-levels of need, or on greater numbers of people with less need.

The Council concluded that there are a number of values that apply across public health, health, and social care when making decisions on equity and efficiency, including: collective responsibility, dignity, fairness, honesty, and humanity.

They also decided that there are some additional values that were particular priorities for the three areas of care.

For public health, priorities include individual rights while for social care the Council decided that priorities included independence and individual choice. Healthcare priorities included justice and respect.

NICE chairman Professor David Haslam welcomed the draft report, adding that its conclusions will inform the update of the NICE societal value judgements document. This will outline the judgements that NICE should apply when making decisions about the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of interventions.

“The Citizens Council makes an important contribution to NICE's work by providing a snapshot of the public's views on a range of issues where people might have widely differing opinions,” he said.

“Weighing up equity and efficiency is a tricky issue, so their draft report identifying the range of societal values underpinning judgements on this matter is very useful.”

NICE is now asking the wider public for its views on the report.

Article by
Tara Craig

12th August 2014

From: Healthcare

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