The pledge was made by the Government's preferred candidate for the post of NICE Chair, Professor David Haslam CBE, in a meeting of the Health Select Committee on Tuesday 11 December, the transcript of which was released yesterday. During questioning by Grahame Morris MP, Professor Haslam agreed that a review of the way in which NICE assesses the effectiveness of psychological therapies in developing guidelines for mental health therapy was "essential".
BACP Chief Executive Laurie Clarke said:
"The commitment by NICE to a review of its assessment of psychological therapies is extremely welcome. The current hierarchy of evidence utilised by NICE results in guidelines based on a high quality but narrow evidence base. BACP have long campaigned that, in addition to the findings of RCTs, high quality practice-based evidence should inform the NICE review process."
"BACP is committed to working with NICE to review the evidence hierarchy which NICE relies on for its mental health guidelines, and to investigate the impact of current criteria for evaluating research into psychological therapies and consequent clinical guidelines on patient choice, innovative services, and patient care."
"We call on NICE to use the promised review to adjust its evidence evaluation process to admit a range of quantitative and qualitative evidence in the evaluation of psychological therapies, including controlled studies, case studies and effectiveness studies. Taking this bold and much-needed step will result in critical improvements to the breadth of the current evidence base, resulting in better access to appropriate psychological therapies for those who need them."
The full transcript of the session can be viewed on the UK Parliament website here: http://tinyurl.com/d4xbld5. Please not that any public use of, or reference to, the contents should make clear that neither witnesses nor Members have had the opportunity to correct the record. The transcript is not yet an approved formal record of these proceedings.