NICE strategy review

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The challenge

NICE developed its current Implementation Strategy in 2017 to support the effective use of NICE guidance and standards. NICE wished to publish its new Implementation Strategy in December 2021, to support the delivery of strategic Pillar Three ‘Effective guidance uptake to maximise our impact’ of the broader NICE Strategy 2021 – 2026. To inform the refresh of its Implementation Strategy, NICE commissioned our Consultancy team to undertake a review of current implementation activities and to make recommendations.  

As part of the work NECS was asked to: 

  • Engage with internal, external and international stakeholders and peers  
  • Develop a current health and care landscape visualisation map  
  • Analyse and synthesise internal implementation activity data and intelligence  
  • Produce an outputs paper with high level recommendations. 

Our response

  • Engagement with NICE stakeholders: we engaged with internal NICE stakeholders across all directorates, including conducting 25 interviews which focused on the current and future implementation activities and ways of working.  
  • Engagement with external stakeholders: we spoke to academics and international peers on the implementation of guidance.  
  • Deployment of an expert team: we deployed a highly experienced analytics team to undertake a NICE implementation intelligence review, supplemented by a high-level desktop review of over 60 supporting documents.  
  • Workshop: design and delivery of an interactive workshop session with 25 NICE delegates with representation across the directorates.  
  • Mapping of the health and care quality improvement landscape: a mapping exercise to indicate potential areas of engagement for NICE, demonstrate key influences and drivers for change. 
person with tablet computer


A comprehensive output report of our review: we produced an options appraisal report based on our review of the NICE implementation strategy, providing an evaluation of the following areas: accountability and internal ways of working, delivery of implementation, accessibility of guidance, implementation science and evaluating and measuring success. Following the evaluation we developed a set of options for how NICE could proceed, including operational and strategic recommendations in order to deliver on the preferred option.  

Production of a health and care quality improvement visualisation map: we produced a visual map, based on the research undertaken and health and care quality improvement landscape review of implementation.  

A rapid and successful eight week delivery of the project: working within a robust NECS programme management office of a blended NECS and NICE project team, transparent governance and project reporting, with all deliverables achieved within the project timeframe. 

“NECS has been great to work with at every stage of the project. They were quick to grasp the complexities and nuances of our implementation challenge and have delivered practical recommendations and meaningful insights which propel us forward. Their attention to detail and overall project management was excellent and I would highly recommend their support for future projects.”  

Moya Alcock

Programme Director of Health and Social Care, Leadership and Engagement