Call for NICE to broaden its outlook

The New Savoy Partnership has issued a statement calling for further research and methodological innovation to support the use of a wider range of evidence-based psychological interventions in the development of NICE - National Centre for Clinical Health and Excellence – guidelines. The Partnership is a group of organisations, including the British Psychological Society, who  work together to bring psychological therapies to the NHS and improve access for all who need them.

As the statement says:

“NICE guidelines have provided the evidence base for a major expansion in the provision of psychological therapies by the NHS. NICE is well regarded for its use of robust methods to evaluate the best available evidence. Concerns have been raised, however, about whether the range and balance of evidence considered and treatments currently recommended is too restrictive.”

It therefore goes on to call on government, clinicians, academics and research funding bodies to work together to support investment in high quality research on psychological therapies.

The statement says the Partnership will encourage professionals and patients to collect and report on routine outcomes. And it urges NICE to make best use of the new evidence that will emerge from this work to support:

  • patients in making informed choices on evidence-based psychological therapies;
  • clinical commissioning groups in making intelligent decisions on commissioning an appropriate range of evidence based psychological therapies for their patients
  • providers in making well-informed judgements on what evidence-based psychological therapies to offer.

In conclustion, the statement says the Partnership’s intention is to build a wider consensus amongst academics, clinicians, professional bodies, mental health charities and others. It will also seek to use the priorities and principles agreed in the statement as the starting point for undertaking work collaboratively to achieve further progress.