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Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how his Department monitors the implementation of NICE appraisal guidance throughout the NHS; and if he will make a statement; [11468]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 31 October 2001]: The Department is monitoring the implementation of National Institute for Clinical Excellence appraisal guidance through its routine performance assessment procedures supplemented by other data sources available to the Department. We will be looking to the Commission for Health Improvement to provide more information in due course. Additionally, we are preparing to implement our manifesto commitment that

The Department has not provided specific guidance about the audit of guidance implementation. However, the National Prescribing Centre recently published a guide for National Health Service professionals to help with

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the process of local implementation of NICE guidance, including audit. NICE itself is developing audit tools which will be published alongside its appraisals.

Guidance to the NHS on treatments undergoing assessment by NICE is set out in Health Service Circular 1999/176. NHS bodies are advised to continue to use

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existing arrangements to access the publicly available evidence and to determine local policies for the managed entry of the new intervention.

We are currently formulating proposals for the release of data about products subject to NICE recommendations.