Social Values and Health Priority Setting at UCL


News at Social Values

Advice Document on Social Value Judgements submitted to NICE

Participants of the KCL/UCL Workshops on Social Values and Health Priority Setting have submitted an advice document to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The document is an open letter in response to a request by Professor Sarah Garner, Associate Director of R&D at NICE, for the KCL/UCL group to consider issues that should be addressed when updating the 2008 edition of NICE's Social Values Judgements document. The authors of the open letter make 10 recommendations to NICE. The recommendations and the full-length open letter can be found here

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Peter Littlejohns and Albert Weale submit evidence to NICE

Peter Littlejohns and Albert Weale have submitted evidence to NICE for the consultation on incorporating considerations on the burden of illness into appraisals. They suggest that NICE's proposal to measure the burden of illness by proportional QALY shortfall has a number of merits. And they also suggest a principle by which an appropriate weighting scheme could be justified. However, they also indicate some possible complications arising from the existence of long term chronic conditions. Their submission to NICE can be found here.

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Professor Peter Littlejohns secures funding for piloting CCG decision support tool

We are pleased to announce that Professor Peter Littlejohns from King's College London (KCL) will be piloting the decision support tool developed for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) as part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)'s next round of Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC). The project commences in January 2014 and will involve testing and evaluating the applicability of the decision support tool in real-life commissioning scenarios in South London. This offers an exciting opportunity to assess how social values feature in the work of CCGs and what decision-making tools are needed to ensure a fair allocation of health care resources on a local level.

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Social values project partners meets collaborators at the University of Mainz

From 22-23 August 2013 partners of the joint UCL/KCL and NICE international social values project met for a workshop with counterparts from Germany and Finland at the University of Mainz in Germany. Organised by Professor Claudia Landwehr at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz the workshop was entitled 'Justice, Deliberation and Institutional Design'. The main focus of the workshop was the role of citizens in difficult public policy processes including health care prioritisation. Citizens' conferences are currently being carried out in Finland and in Germany to evaluate ways in which citizens might contribute to decision-making processes that involve the consideration of social values. The participants of the workshop agreed on developing cross-national research collaborations in this area.

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Professor Albert Weale and Professor Peter Littlejohns give evidence to the House of Commons Health Select Committee

On Tuesday 4 December 2012 Professor Albert Weale and Professor Peter Littlejohns gave evidence to the House of Commons Health Select Committee on the future of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), now the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Watch a video of the evidence Professor Weale and Professor Littlejohns gave here or access the Health Select Committee proceedings directly here.

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Social Values Project featured in health consultancy blog

Sam Littlejohns of MHP Communications, a consultancy firm working on health policy issues amongst others, has written a blog about the move towards including social value judgements in priority setting decisions, where previously cost-effectiveness dominated.  Sam suggests that 'Social value judgements could be poised to become all the rage'.  The article points to our project as the only initiative around currently to be tackling the issues. 

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UCL and King's Summer School on Social Values and Clinical Commissioning

In September, UCL and King's hosted a two day summer school on Social Values and Clinical Commissioning in the UK, attended by health policy practitioners and researchers. Clinical commissioning groups in the UK will soon acquire responsibility for commissioning health services for their local populations, and when they do, they will face familiar problems in healthcare priority setting, including the tension between meeting need and maximising benefit, identifying exceptional cases and securing overall fairness. In addition, a new value-based pricing regime is due to come into effect for pharmaceuticals in the UK in 2014.

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‘How can we set priorities in health fairly?’ UCL conference

UCL hosted a conference in February this year on the challenge of how to set priorities in health fairly, at which presentations were given by several UCL members of the social values network. Albert Weale presented on ‘Social Value for Money in Health Care’; Sarah Clark presented on ‘Interpreting Social Values in Health Care’; and Katharina Kieslich presented the case of ‘Priority Setting in Germany’.

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Research visit to Thailand

Sarah Clark, one of the UK researchers in the network, recently attended the first HTA AsiaLink conference in Cha-Am, Thailand.

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Recent events

An international conference on Social Values in Health Priority Setting was held on 17-18 February in London. The aim of the conference was to begin to scope out the variety of values-based challenges and approaches faced by health policy makers in different countries, and to develop a research agenda.

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Other events

8th Annual Meeting of Health Technology Assessment international: Rio de Janeiro, 27-29 June, 2011.

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