“I have been involved in NICE and its guideline programme in various roles for almost 20 years and have recently chaired three guideline committees. I have seen at first hand what an important contribution patient/public members can make to the discussions and recommendations. But that contribution needs to be nurtured by providing them with adequate support and by the committee Chair encouraging their participation throughout the process. Tokenism is not acceptable – active participation is essential.”
This chapter describes the method for recruiting, selecting and supporting the chairs of guideline committees (GCs), developed for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK. The model places particular emphasis on involving and engaging with patient/public members (known as ‘lay members’ at NICE) of GCs as an integral part of the overall responsibilities of chairs.
Interactive discussions throughout an induction session take account of this aspect of the chair’s role, alongside other elements that NICE feels are important. The approach described has been developed over time, specifically tailored to the needs of the chairs of NICE GCs. Elements of the model will be generalisable to other organisations, even when the NICE guideline development process and methodology is not being used.
The context for the process described in this chapter is the NICE policy for including patients and/or members of the public on all of its standing and ad hoc advisory committees.
Readers of this chapter should gain an understanding of:
General information about the role of chairs in running groups on which patient/public members sit can be found in 2 key additional resources:
Other useful information to support the chair’s role on guideline development groups: