11 May 2005
NICE (formerly the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) became the new National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on 1 April 2005, taking on the additional functions of the former Health Development Agency to create a single organisation responsible for providing national guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health. This falls into three areas: public health, health technologies and clinical practice, under the control of the Centre for Public Health Excellence, the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation and the Centre for Clinical Practice, respectively.
NICE has launched a public consultation on the Centre for Public Health Excellence (CPHE) and how it will produce public health guidance. This is available from the NICE website until 10th June 2005. Broadly, guidance will relate either to specific public health interventions, or broader public health programmes, to prevent disease or improve health at population, community, organisational, group, family or individual levels. Genetics is not specifically mentioned in the consultation document, but it is stated that guidance produced by the CPHE will