NHS organisations will have to publish an “innovation scorecard” to show how quickly they adopt the latest NICE-approved drugs and treatment.
Under the DH scheme announced today (28 August) the NHS will have to comply with NICE guidance on new drugs and treatments or explain to patients why there is a delay in doing so.
A new group will also be set up to help local NHS organisations implement NICE guidelines, spread best practice and in turn make uptake of new drugs by the NHS quicker for patients.
The programme is expected to be fully implemented during the Autumn of 2012.
“Patients have a right to drugs and treatments that have been approved by NICE,” said Health Minister Paul Burstow.
“This new regime will be a catalyst for change – we are determined to eradicate variation and drive up standards for everyone.
“NHS organisations must make sure the latest NICE-approved treatments are available in their area, and if they are not, then they will now be responsible for explaining why not.
“Being transparent with data like this is the hallmark of a 21st century NHS. It is a fundamental tool to help healthcare professionals improve patient care.”
It is said NHS organisations will have “no excuse” not to provide the latest NICE-approved drugs and treatments under the scheme, with lists of the availability if what drugs are available in local areas published for all to see.