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Consultation to identify NHS R&D priorities

The National Health Technology Assessment Programme

Few common procedures and interventions used in the NHS have been evaluated rigorously, nor have the majority of the increasing number of new treatments and interventions. We often do not know which are the most effective or cost-effective interventions for use in the NHS, and in what circumstances they can be used to best effect.

The National HTA programme is the centrepiece of NHS R&D strategy. Its aim is to commission research to reduce uncertainties on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of health technologies.

  • Health technologies are defined very broadly as:
    all methods used by health professionals to promote health, prevent and treat disease, and improve rehabilitation and long term care
  • Health technology assessment is defined more tightly to mean:
    evaluation of effectiveness or cost-effectiveness using outcomes relevant to patients. Both systematic reviews and primary research are funded by the programme.

The HTA programme is now starting its review of priorities for 1997. The NHS Health Technology Assessment programme is asking for suggestions for consideration by the programme's six advisory panels (Acute Sector, Diagnostics and Imaging, Methodology, Primary and Community Care, Pharmaceutical and Population Screening). Suggestions do not have to be precise but HTS is asking for some supporting points using the headings below. Please feel free to send in as many suggestions as you wish. They should be returned by 3rd January 1997 to Deborah Anthony at the address below.

Health technology for assessment:

Patient group and setting (e.g. hospital, GP surgery, community etc.):

How well has the technology been researched so far?

Type of research required? i.e. primary or secondary research, if possible
including any study design details

Your name, position and address:
Suggested expert? If possible please give address

Please return suggestions to: Deborah Anthony, Researcher, National Co-ordinating Centre for HTA (NCCHTA), Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development, Dawn House Winchester. Or fax: 01962 877425 or email :

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