Health indicators for updated NICE framework announced

Dementia and cancer have been included among 32 new indicators proposed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for the latest Clinical Commissioning Group Outcomes Indicator Set (CCG OIS).

But NICE has been criticised for failing to focus enough on indicators that will support workers with long-term health conditions.

The proposed indicator for dementia, for example, included a measure that people presenting with suspected dementia are referred and seen by memory assessment services within three months.

The proposed indicators for cancer focused on the number of cancers diagnosed through emergency routes, the stage of cancer at diagnosis and the number of cancers detected at stage one or two.

Formerly known as the Commissioning Outcomes Framework, the CCG OIS is intended to support clinical commissioning groups and improve the quality of patient care across England.

Professor Stephen Bevan, a member of think-tank The Work Foundation and the campaigning coalition Fit for Work UK, said: “It is disappointing that clinical commissioning groups will not be incentivised to commission services that prioritise the work outcomes of individuals with long-term conditions, despite the fact that work is included in most other health service indicators.

“This is especially critical in the case of the thousands of UK workers who suffer from musculoskeletal health problems.”

In a separate development, NICE has announced that it will collaborate with Public Health England on providing evidence-based guidance and access to evidence about public health.

It has also published a local government public-health briefing arguing that encouraging more walking and cycling, and regular challenging of unhealthy behaviour, are critical to improving the health of local populations.

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