Cancer groups lobby on NICE monitoring

Four cancer charities this week stepped up their joint lobbying campaign calling for improvements in the monitoring of the implementation of National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance.

UK Breast Cancer Coalition, Breast Cancer Care, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Cancer BACUP claim confusion exists over where responsibility for monitoring lies, and called for more Government guidance on the responsibilities of local organisations, such as the 304 Primary Care Trusts and cancer service networks.

A spokesman for the health service watchdog the Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) said: ‘Statute makes it clear that CHI has responsibility to monitor and review the arrangements, NHS organisations have to implement the standards set out by NICE.

He added: ‘We do this through routine inspections of NHS organisations, including PCTs, and through our studies with the Audit Commission

on NHS implementation of National Service Frameworks.’

UK Breast Cancer Coalition CEO Elisabeth Davies claimed it was not clear whether patients were actually benefiting from NICE recommendations, and called for clarity as to how local organisations should ‘spread best practice’, insisting: ‘This is an ongoing problem for many disease areas.’

The charities’ lobbying follows a survey they undertook on the implementation of NICE guidance on Roche’s breast-cancer drug Herceptin.

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