Public and Patient Involvement at the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

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The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is the arms-length National Health Service (NHS) agency that provides recommendations to the NHS in England and Wales on clinical practice and technologies that should or should not be used in the NHS. NICE aims to ensure that both the public and patients are included in their work and deliberations that lead to recommendations. This article provides an overview of the ways in which the public and patients can engage with NICE based upon a review of the NICE website and relevant literature. It finds that there are a range of both formal and informal mechanisms that provide an opportunity for the public and patients to be involved, but suggests that there are some improvements that could be made to improve transparency, and suggests further work to explore with the public and patients their views of how involvement should be undertaken. Lessons from the NICE experience are likely to be relevant to other countries that have or are adopting health technology assessment.

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