9 February 2016

Consultation Open on Potential New NICE Indicators

Indicators focused on atrial fibrillation, diabetes care, and weight management are proposed for the latest NICE indicator menu.

Based on NICE guidance and quality standards the potential indicators, now open for consultation, aim to improve healthcare by supporting both national frameworks and local quality improvement initiatives.

They are developed to be used by GP practices and CCGs for service development and improvement as well as for the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) and the CCG Outcome Indicator Set (CCG OIS).

The consultation will run for 4 weeks, closing on 29 February 2016. Anyone with an interest in health, including health professionals, patients, community groups and voluntary organisations, is encouraged to take part.

View the consultation 

Identifying and managing atrial fibrillation

Improved identification and management of atrial fibrillation (AF) - when a person’s heart beats irregularly and usually too fast - is one area of focus in this year’s consultation.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a contributing factor for 1 in 5 strokes, and the third biggest cause of death in the UK. Each year in England approximately 110,000 people have a stroke. In 2009, the cost of stroke in the UK was estimated to be £8.9 billion a year.

NHS Improvement estimates that around 8,000 atrial fibrillation related strokes could be prevented if appropriate management was received, which could save the NHS £95 million a year.

Ensuring people with diabetes receive appropriate care

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing conditions in the UK. There are more than 4 million people living with diabetes in the UK, with over half a million who have diabetes that is not diagnosed.

Recently an NHS audit found that fewer people with diabetes are receiving regular health checks that help ensure they do not end up seriously ill as a result of complications. Diabetes accounts for 10 % of the entire NHS budget, and the NHS spends £8 billion on treating the complications of diabetes, many of which could be prevented if the right care was provided in the first place.

The proposed indicators cover a number of areas related to diabetes. These include adequate blood glucose control to limit the risk of cardiovascular complications, and annual eye screening to prevent complications such as diabetic retinopathy.

A proposed indicator also covers the proportion of children and young people who receive nine individual care processes that are recommended by NICE.

Elsewhere, indicators cover BMI recording for weight management and an annual health assessment for people with learning disabilities. 

Improving public health ‘one patient at a time’

Professor Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief executive and Health and Social Care Director at NICE, said: “These draft indicators are intended to improve public health one patient at a time. The indicators are a key part of NICE’s drive to save and improve people’s lives, enhance the quality of care in the NHS and use its scarce resources wisely.

“We’d like everyone with an interest in the development of evidence based indicators to tell us their views. Feedback will help us decide which indicators to put forward for publication on the NICE indicator menu.”

Dr Andrew Black, GP Mortimer Medical Practice and Deputy Chair of the Indicator Advisory Committee added: “These potential indicators are being developed in a way that would allow them to be used by practices and CCGs for service development and improvement as well as for QOF. In addition they start to look at how whole health systems are responsible for the care of patients.”

The consultation closes on 5pm 29 February 2016, following which results will be considered by the NICE Indicator Advisory Committee in June 2016.