The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. The way that NICE was established in legislation means that their guidance is officially England only but they have agreements to provide certain NICE products and services to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
NICE was originally set up in 1999 as the National Institute for Clinical Excellence an authority to reduce variation in the availability and quality of NHS treatments and care. In 2005 however they merged with the Health Development Agency and started to develop public health guidance to prevent ill health and promote healthier lifestyle. Their name then changed to The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
In April 2013 they were established in primary legislation, becoming a Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) and placing them on a solid statutory footing as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012. At this time they took on responsibility for developing guidance and quality standards in social care, and their name changed once more to reflect these new responsibilities.
The aim of NICE is to drive and enable excellence across the health and social care system.
NICE have two office locations in England, situated in both London and Manchester and the NICE website provides a wealth of information, guidelines, standards and indicators for available to Health, public health and social care practitioners, service providers, commissioners and regulators.
There is also the option to sign up to NICE for newsletters and alerts.
Information sourced from https://www.nice.org.uk/
For people who have private medical insurance in place, it is often stated in the terms and conditions that treatments, surgery and medication must be approved by NICE to be eligible however, some insurance providers will review individual cases and if there is sufficient evidence that a non-NICE approved treatment pathway is legitimately required they may agree to cover it.