Over the past four years we’ve engaged robustly with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as they’ve updated their clinical guidance on depression in adults. We’ve 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.

In our response to the draft guideline consultation in September 2017, we raised many concerns with the NICE proposals. After coordinated pressure from mental health stakeholders and cross-party politicians, we were pleased that NICE announced an ‘exceptional’ second consultation in May 2018.

We again used this opportunity to raise our concerns, including questioning NICE’s 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 full response:

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

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


July 2018 - Keeping the pressure on

While we wait for the updated guideline to be published, following the extraordinary second consultation, we’ve been continuing to seek support for our position and challenge NICE.

A group of 26 MPs from across the political parties have written to the Chair of NICE, Sir Andrew Dillon, to re-iterate that NICE hasn’t adequately addressed the views of stakeholders, including us and others.

The letter outlines that publishing the guideline in its current form "could have a damaging impact on patient services" and if published without further revision "will not be fit for purpose". The letter calls for a "full and proper revision of the guideline before its publication".

We recently attended a NICE question and answer session and Board meeting in Oxford, and used the opportunity to raise our concerns directly to the NICE Board. There’s another public session in Stoke-on-Trent on 19 September at Kings Hall, Kingsway – if you’re in the area, we urge you to attend and keep the pressure on.