News story

NICE publishes first joint health and social care quality standards

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published the first joint health and social care quality standards.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The standards cover:

The Department of Health referred these 2 topics to NICE in 2011 and NICE has used them as a pilot before taking on its social care remit from 1 April 2013.

Throughout this process, NICE has worked in partnership with social care and health organisations. Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb said:

Improving care services is one of our top priorities, and NICE, for the first time, is producing guidance and standards specifically focusing on the social care sector.

The publication of these two joint health and social care quality standards – on the care of people with dementia and the health and wellbeing of looked after children – marks the beginning of robust, evidence based standards and guidance for the care and support sector, helping it to deliver high quality care.

NICE provides evidence-based guidance to support health and care commissioners and providers, and others, to make sure that the care they provide is of the best possible quality and offers the best value for money. Health and care commissioners and providers will be able to use these standards and guidance as tools to help improve their services.

Each social care provider that is registered with the Care Quality Commission now has an online quality profile on NHS Choices. From April 2013, the public will be able to use these profiles to find information about local care providers and compare their quality. These profiles will contain information such as whether the care provider meets the new NICE quality standards.

Alongside the dementia quality standard, NICE has published a dementia commissioning guide. This pulls together existing guidance and standards in one place for commissioners and cross-refers to the NICE quality standards, the NICE/Social Care Institute for Excellence guidelines on Dementia, the Department of Health’s Dementia Commissioning Pack and the Royal College of Psychiatrists Memory Services National Accreditation Programme.

Published 3 April 2013