There has been much discussion about whether we need a ‘NICE for social policy’. By this, people mean an equivalent to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which provides evidence to the NHS on which drugs and treatments are costeffective.
The suggestion is that a NICE for social policy could be created to improve the ways evidence is used and made useful in other areas of policy. This is a timely debate, although NICE can’t be copied wholesale, we do believe that the strong interconnections between evidence and practice across much of the UK healthcare system should be our aspiration in other areas of social and public policy.
This paper outlines why we need to explore a centre – or a network of evidence centres – which help to institutionalise evidence in the decision making process.