The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is expected to publish the third and final consultation on the latest draft of its clinical guideline, Depression In Adults: treatment and management, on 23 November 2021.

The consultation is due to open on 27 November and will run until 7 January, with the final guideline scheduled for publication in May 2022.

We’ll be submitting an extensive and detailed response to the guideline consultation and will make our key points available on this page in case you want to echo any of those points in your own submission.

We’ll update you when our response is published.

We’d encourage members to respond to the consultation, to ensure the voices of counsellors and psychotherapists are as loud as possible, and to make it clear to NICE that a failure to recommend that counselling and psychotherapy are more widely available for adults with depression is a failure to meet the needs of service users.

Background

In 2018, following pressure from the mental health sector including BACP, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) decided to revisit the update to its clinical guidance on depression in adults to ensure the most up to date and appropriate evidence is included. It also strengthened work around patient choice and shared decision making.

Over the past four years we’ve engaged robustly with NICE on the guideline update. We’ve continually made the case for counselling and psychotherapy as an evidenced and effective psychological therapy and reiterated our support for the public having a choice of all evidence-based psychological therapies.

Back in September 2017, our response to the initial draft guideline consultation raised many concerns with its proposals. Following coordinated pressure from mental health stakeholders and cross-party politicians, NICE announced an ‘exceptional’ second consultation in May 2018.

Since this second consultation, a group of 26 MPs from across the political parties has written to the Chair of NICE, Sir Andrew Dillon, to re-iterate that NICE hasn’t adequately addressed the views of stakeholders, including us. The letter called for a "full and proper revision of the guideline before its publication".

We also attended a question and answer session in Oxford, using the opportunity to again raise our concerns directly to the NICE Board. 

We'll continue to keep the pressure on NICE to ensure the guideline is fit for purpose and delivers the choice of evidence-based psychological therapies the public deserve. We'll be using this fresh opportunity to question its privileging of randomised controlled trials (RCT) evidence above all else, its failure to include large standardised practice-based routing datasets and its assumptions of the cost-effectiveness of the recommended interventions.

Read our responses in full:

BACP response to the second consultation on the draft NICE guideline on depression in adults June 2018 (pdf 1.1MB)

BACP response to the first consultation on the draft NICE guideline on depression in adults September 2017 (pdf 0.5MB)