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Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 7919, tabled on 26 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with representatives from (a) NICE and (b) NHS England on the proposed introduction of a health inequalities modifier as part of NICE’s ongoing review of its methods and processes.

Answered on

10 June 2021

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an independent body and is currently reviewing its methods and processes for health technology assessment.

NICE consulted on the case for changes to its methods in late 2020 and proposed that there may be a case for introducing a modifier that addresses health inequalities.

NICE is now considering the responses it received to the consultation and the impacts of the proposals. It is too soon to comment on what changes might be implemented, however, NICE intends to consult on the proposed changes to its methods and processes in the summer.

Departmental officials are represented on the committees that NICE has set up as part of the review and have had a number of discussions with NICE and NHS England about the review, including about the introduction of a health inequalities modifier.