62 MPs and Peers have signed a second cross-party letter to express serious concerns over NICE’s draft guidelines on depression and overwhelmingly support the position statement of the BPC and the wider stakeholder coalition calling for their ‘full and proper revision’. The letter, led by Norman Lamb MP and addressed to Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE Chief Executive, calls for NICE to ‘Meaningfully respond to the repeatedly raised concerns … and to address them adequately in the proposed third revision’.
The BPC and other psychological therapy professional bodies have long been challenging NICE’s recommendations on psychological therapies because they have historically been based only on limited forms of evidence such as randomised controlled trials, leading to recommendations with limited clinical utility. As evidence is constantly evolving and shows the efficacy of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, the BPC priority is to ensure that psychoanalytic psychotherapy is fairly evaluated as a treatment by NICE and that patients are able to access this well-evidenced treatment.
In May NICE met representatives of our stakeholders’ coalition to discuss and explore further our concerns, focused on long-term follow up data, the way depression is categorised and the need for a broader interpretation of what constitutes ‘evidence’. Earlier the coalition had successfully achieved the official postponement of the draft guideline publication to February 2020 and the announcement of a further consultation period from 2 October to 13 November 2019.
The MPs/Peers letter and the position statement can be accessed below