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‘They’ve always been remote, but they are getting worse’

The guidelines have always been a bit remote and they are getting worse. The problem is, when I Iook at the guidelines in areas I am quite well informed about and know the literature, I ask: why on earth didn’t they involve certain key names?

I’ve been involved for 20 years and I have never heard of most GPs on the guidelines panels and they’re not attracting enough GPs. More worryingly they’re not attracting the best calibre ones, the experts in the areas.

This is because, for consultants it’s a wonderful thing to do. But the GPs on the committee end up having to cover their own practices when we’re not there.

I was ending up out of pocket, because I was paying more for a locum than NICE were willing to give me to attend. Eventually, with great regret, I had to leave the diagnostics advisory group I sat on because I couldn’t afford to go – it was costing me to attend. NICE just didn’t get it.

Dr Nick Summerton is a GP in East Yorkshire who has served on several NICE guideline committees as well as working directly for NICE as a consultant on topic selection for guidelines


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