Memorandum by Peter Homa, Chief Executive,
The Commission for Health Improvement (NC 29)
I write as Chief Executive of The Commission
for Health Improvement (CHI), and am pleased to contribute towards
the Health Committee's deliberations on NICE.
CHI became operational in April 2000 and has
a close, effective working relationship with the National Institute
for Clinical Excellence. CHI's overarching aim is to help bring
about demonstrable improvement in the quality of NHS patient care
throughout England and Wales. This is achieved through the following
four statutory functions:
Running a four year programme of
clinical governance reviews or inspections of statutory NHS organisations
in England and Wales.
National Studies. CHI reviews progress
with the implementation of the National Institute for Clinical
Excellence guidance, national service frameworks and, where required,
other NHS priorities. The aim is to help improve NHS patient and
reduce inappropriate variation in provision.
Investigation into major NHS failures
to help ensure, as far as possible, that lessons are learned to
avoid the risk of repetition.
To provide advice and guidance on
clinical governance. CHI undertakes this responsibility in partnership
with other organisations including the Modernisation Agency.
It should be emphasised that creating a new
statutory organisation such as NICE and CHI is, in itself, a major
undertaking that has to be simultaneously achieved with the design
and delivery of far reaching work programmes.
As you are aware, NICE is an entirely new endeavour
with responsibility for providing important advice and guidance
across England and Wales. The progress that has been achieved
by NICE is, I judge, impressive. This is all the more so given
the relatively modest resources available to the Institute to
undertake its extensive range of activities. CHI's future work
including clinical governance reviews and National Studies will
assess the extent to which NICE guidance is routinely and consistently
implemented across England and Wales. The Secretary of State recently,
and very helpfully, issued direction to the NHS that NICE guidance
must be implemented. This provides additional impetus to help
ensure that NHS patients receive consistently high quality care
no matter who they are, where they are or when they need it. In
essence, my submission to the Health Committee is that NICE has
achieved impressive results at the same as establishing its self
as a credible Authority. The complexity of establishing a new
statutory organisation should not be underestimated. It should
also be noted that NICE commands considerable respect and interest
from health professionals across the World.
I hope these comments are helpful. If the Committee
would wish any further information I should be pleased to provide