NICE Push Doctors For Good Care

NICE Has Told Britons They Must Adopt A More "American" Attitude To Doctor's Visits

27.01.2014

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has said patients should push doctors for better quality treatment.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Professor David Haslam, chairman of NICE, argued Britons should adopt "American" attitudes when they go to the doctors.

Professor Haslam believes people in the US are more pushy about getting the treatment they deserve and thinks patients in the UK need to see themselves as "equal partners" if they want to get higher quality care.

Statistics released by NICE show that too many patients are not being offered new medications approved by its committees - mainly because a number of doctors are stuck in their ways and do not like prescribing new drugs.

"When products have been approved for use by the NHS by NICE, patients have a legal right to those drugs - as long as they are clinically appropriate. The take-up should be much higher than it currently is," the chairman said.

A former GP, the professor claimed when he worked as a doctor near a US Air Force base in Cambridgeshire, he was "struck" by the contrast in attitudes between Americans and locals.

He outlined: "Americans tended to want to know more about their treatment than the British who tend to be much more 'thank you doctor, I will take that'."

However, the medical expert believes these attitudes are beginning to shift and that patients are becoming more aware of alternative medications to the ones that GPs may have prescribed them.

One of the main areas where NICE believes the NHS is failing patients is autism care.

A new report from the organisation blasted the health service's care of people on the autism spectrum and said treatments and interventions that can improve symptoms and quality of life are not being prescribed by GPs often enough.

Behavioural therapy, for example, can massively improve the behaviour of people with advanced autism but remains largely ignored by medics, according to NICE.

Expert Opinion
It is important that the statistics released by NICE are looked at carefully and considered by NHS Trusts. Medicine and technology evolves each and every year and it is important that all medical staff receive training on new treatments and drugs to ensure they can present their patients with the best options.

“All patients who are cared for within NHS Trusts should be provided with the highest possible standard of care in a safe and dignified manner.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner