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MP brands Citizens Council 'a sham'

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence and the Liberal Democrat Party have clashed over the recently formed Citizens Council.

The council consists of 30 members of the public and was set up by NICE to give a public view on developing guidance for the NHS.

Speaking after the council's first meeting last month, Dr Evan Harris, the Liberal Democrat shadow health secretary, called it a 'sham'.

He said: 'Public accountability for the rationing of health care is derived from elected politicians making decisions based on the evidence, not by an unelected citizens' council.'

But NICE chair Professor Sir Michael Rawlins hit back, saying Dr Harris was 'confused'.

He said: 'The council will not decide on affordability, nor will it develop NICE guidance on individual treatments.'

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