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NICE cost assessments do not work for social care

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NICE's methods for assessing the costs of healthcare interventions have been described as 'insufficient' for social care because there are more differences than similarities between the two areas.

The criticisim from the Citizen's Council, which advises NICE, came as the Institute launched social care quality standards for people with dementia and looked-after children and young people.

The Council concluded that in social care the concept of 'need' is often determined by a health professional; in social care, need is determined by service users. Its report said unpaid carers should be included in cost-effectiveness calculations.

NICE director Professor Carole Longson agreed new approaches would need to be developed.'

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