National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
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Public input helps shape NICE's social care work

NICE will develop innovative new ways of considering how the costs and benefits of informal care can be taken into account when developing social care guidance and quality standards.

This follows a series of recommendations made by NICE's Citizens Council who were asked at their last meeting to consider whether NICE needed to take into account any additional factors when looking at social care.

The Council is made up of 30 members of the UK public and provides a public perspective on challenging social and moral issues that NICE has to take into account when producing guidance and standards.

The Citizens Council's views add to NICE's own considerations and have offered an invaluable perspective on the topic of social care.

NICE published its first quality standards for social care in April 2013 to help support people with dementia to live well, and improve the health and wellbeing of looked-after children and young people.

In response to the Councils conclusions, NICE will establish a methodological advisory group to build on existing methods, but also to innovate, and advise on the development of new methodologies, such as those around economic evaulation for social care, including how costs and benefits from informal care can be taken into account in any economic calculations.

NICE will ensure a continued commitment to co-production by strengthening the involvement of service users and carers in the development of our products.

Another of the Council's recommendations is for quality ratings, regulations and inspection frameworks developed by national regulators such as the Care Quality Commission and Ofsted should be underpinned by evidence-based guidance developed by NICE.

NICE will also look at ways of further promoting integration through its guidance programme, including a topic on transition between health and social care, and ways of reducing duplication of care provision and supporting better coordination of care by working across teams to ensure that guidance promotes a joined up approach between health and social care.

As well as taking on board the recommendations from the Citizens Council, NICE has already been working to develop internal systems to consider topics where social care plays a key role, to ensure guidance and quality standards for those topics cover both health and social care.

The NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care (NCCSC) has been commissioned to develop social care guidance and tailored products to ensure that non-traditional audiences are aware of NICE's guidance and how it can be used to further embed it in practice.

The NCCSC is a consortium led by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) with partners; Research in Practice, Research in Practice for Adults; Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre); and the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU).

Along with the UK Government and other organisations, NICE has signed a pledge to ensure that joined up health and social care is the norm for service users by 2018.

Nicola Bent, Health and Social Care Programme Director at NICE, said: “On behalf of NICE, I would like to formally thank the Citizen's Council for its discussions on social care. The insights of the public on the issues debated are helpful in informing the social care work programme.

"There is a need to adapt our existing methods in order to be able to produce effective and meaningful social care recommendations, and the input from the Citizens Council will help us think through how to do that.”

Professor David Haslam, Chair of NICE, added: "The Citizens Council makes an important contribution to NICE's work by providing a snapshot of what the general public thinks. NICE's new remit for social care charges us with taking into account ‘the broad balance between the benefits and costs' of care and people's ‘degree of need' for care when producing guidance and standards. This Citizens Council report will help us deliver the new remit. I would like to thank the Council for its invaluable perspective and informative deliberations on this topic.”


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