National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
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Towards a new partnership – NICE and the Voluntary and Community Sector

Blog posted by: Victoria Thomas, Head of Public Involvement at NICE, 03 November 2022.

Victoria Thomas gives details of NICE’s new Voluntary and Community Sector Forum, which brings together a range of organisations, including health and care sector charities and not for profit groups, and gives them an opportunity to share their views and help shape NICE’s work in the future.

I am delighted to share news of NICE’s latest exciting initiative, our Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Forum.

The Forum brings together a range of organisations who want to inform and shape our work. It is a way for health and care sector charities and not for profit groups to share their organisation's views, perspectives and priorities with NICE’s senior decision makers.

From its inception, NICE has liaised closely with the organisations who work on behalf of those people most directly affected by our guidance – patients, carers, the public, advocates and service users.  Organisations from the voluntary and community sector are invaluable in ensuring that the breadth of perspectives from across society are reflected in the guidance we produce.

This expertise also has the potential to help us shape NICE’s strategic approaches, and in particular, our approach to how we work with, involve and engage different groups of people and communities.

Why should you join?

The VCS Forum is an opportunity to collaborate with NICE in new and exciting ways - you’ll work in partnership with senior NICE staff and Board members to shape and transform the way that NICE works. Working as part of the Forum will have a direct benefit and impact on the lives of the people you work to support.

NICE's role is to improve people’s health and wellbeing by putting science and evidence at the heart of health and care decision making. We welcome constructive challenge and a broad range of views when we make difficult and complex decisions based on evidence, striking a balance between effectiveness and the best use of public funding – helping to protect the NHS and delivering maximum value to the taxpayer.

The forum means you will have opportunities to get involved in NICE projects such as shaping our updated public involvement policy, to ensure the views of the people you work with help shape our future work.

Changing the way we do things

We want the forum to help us transform how NICE works, which in turn will improve the lives of the people you work with, as well as the health and care services they receive. Working with other voluntary and community sector organisations who also collaborate with NICE will be the opportunity to build a support network, as well as share your own organisational priorities.

The first Forum meeting

We held the first of the forum’s quarterly meetings in October, with over 70 organisations attending and offering their exceptional insights and enthusiasm.  We heard from NICE’s Chief Executive, Sam Roberts, about NICE’s vision for the future and discussed how the voluntary and community sector can be an integral part of this vision.  We also heard from a senior member of NICE’s ‘technologies’ team, Jenna Dilkes, about our plans to take a proportionate approach to our assessment of new technologies.  It was a great start to this new way of working.

Who can join the forum?

The forum is open to all organisations who are eligible to be stakeholders in NICE’s work. We particularly welcome involvement from those working around public health and health promotion, as well as social care services, and those who work with historically underserved populations.

Even if you can’t attend the quarterly meetings, you can still have an influence and be part of a community. We will send links to recordings of each meeting so that you can catch up with what happened. We’ll also send regular email updates to the forum to let you know what’s happening as a result of your involvement and input and provide you with opportunities to influence in other ways.

How do I join?

To join the forum or to find out more visit the NICE voluntary and community sector forum page on the NICE website and click on the ‘apply to join the forum’ button. If you have any queries, please write to us at

Please join us on this journey to help us ensure that people and communities remain at the heart of all that NICE does. We can’t wait to work with you.


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