National Institiue for Health and Clinical Excellence

Annual Review - 2009/2010

This year our enquiry handling team responded to more than 11,000 calls, letters and emails

Meeting our key audiences

Talking directly to the people affected by our guidance – both professionals and patients – is an important part of NICE’s work. One of the key ways we do this is through a programme of events which culminated this year in our 11th Annual Conference on 10-11 May 2011 in Birmingham.

Attended by over 1,000 people from the NHS, industry, local government and charities, the Conference featured high profile speakers from NICE and elsewhere including Royal College of General Practitioners Chair Dr Clare Gerada, Kings’ Fund CEO Chris Ham, and Health Minister Earl Howe. Lively debate over the two-day event covered diverse topics including the NHS reforms, value based pricing for drugs, and the new NICE quality standards.

In the past year NICE speakers have presented at over 70 conferences around the UK and overseas, on a variety of topics including how NICE guidance can help healthcare professionals provide high quality care whilst saving money. The NICE exhibition stand visited over 30 events over the course of the year, ranging from the Royal College of Midwives annual conference to smaller specialised events for interventional radiologists and about treating bedwetting in children. NICE staff who manned the stand met a wide range of people, answering questions and explaining how our guidance and other products can help them.

Question time?

Our enquiry handling team responded to more than 11,000 calls, letters and emails in 2010/11 on a range of topics, including how we make recommendations and our new work programmes. A third of enquiries received were from healthcare professionals in the NHS who are using NICE guidance in their daily work, a third were from members of the public who wanted to know more about our recommendations and the remainder included pharmaceutical companies, patient groups, charities and international audiences interested in how we work.

Hold the front page!

Our press office has logged over 7,500 pieces of relevant UK media coverage of NICE over the past year, the large majority of which has been positive about the Institute and our work. As well as issuing around 180 proactive press releases a year, the press office also deals with around 100 media enquiries a month.

Big stories for NICE over the last year have included our revised recommendations on drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, which featured in all the main news outlets; our public health guidance on preventing cardiovascular disease and alcohol misuse; and the launch of our quality standards programme.

More recently, our medical technologies programme was thrown into the national news spotlight when it featured on the BBC News at Ten.