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MPs support concerns over NICE depression guidance

13 September 2019

A group of more than 60 MPs and Peers have signed a cross-party letter expressing serious concerns over NICE’s draft guidelines on the management of depression. They also pledged their support for a highly critical position statement by a coalition of psychological therapy professional bodies, including the British Psychological Society. 

The former Minister for Health, Norman Lamb MP, called for NICE to:

“Meaningfully respond to the repeatedly raised concerns… and to address them adequately in the proposed third revision”.

In an alliance with other relevant professional bodies, the BPS has continually challenged NICE’s recommendations on psychological therapies for being based on limited forms of evidence, such as randomised controlled trials, and largely ignoring the voices of service-users.

Chief executive Sarb Bajwa said:

“We believe the guidelines in their current form pose a serious threat to patient choice and will result in patients being offered a limited selection of treatments, which may not be the treatments that have the best chance of helping them.

Since 2017 we, along with other stakeholders, have raised concerns about significant flaws in methodology, lack of transparency and several inconsistencies found in the draft document.

However, in spite of NICE acknowledging the serious omissions and misinterpretations through issuing a second consultation, these key issues have not been addressed in the new draft.”

You can read the position statement and cross-party letter below.

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