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NICE condemned for ignoring GPs

NICE guidance is deeply flawed because it fails to properly take into account the views of GPs, an influential committee of MPs has been warned.

Though NICE was good in theory, there were 'significant problems' with its operation, the BMA's evidence to a health select committee inquiry into the institute warned.

'GPs, in particular, have concerns around implementation,' said the BMA.

'They feel disengaged from NICE because guidance is developed with acute care in mind and is divorced from their everyday reality.'

Mike Penning, a Conservative MP on the committee, described himself as 'quite astonished at the complacency' of the institute over its attitude towards implementation.

NICE was also 'a major deterrent' to the drive to move care from acute to primary settings, the BMA said.

Dr Nigel Watson, who helped prepare the BMA evidence, told Pulse some guidelines appeared to be 'secondary care trying to dominate'.

The BMA evidence also criticised the COPD guidance, which recommends monitoring patients up to four times a year, including use of spirometry.

There are questions over the cost-effectiveness of this given in some practices COPD prevalence may push 30%.

But Sir Michael Rawlins, NICE chair, told the inquiry: 'We always have experts on the condition but we also have generalists to give a broader view.'

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