Our SHTG advice is intended to inform NHS boards' use of health technologies. The evidence captured within our advice helps us to identify health technologies that can improve or transform health outcomes, and ensures a focus on patient and system value.
Our advice should be used to support informed decision making through a Once for Scotland lens. Our advice is objective, and takes into account the clinical effectiveness, cost effectiveness and safety of a technology, as well as patient and clinical expert views.
NHS boards continue to face opportunities and challenges in the consideration of health technologies. Difficult operational decisions on the use of health technologies need to be made - factoring in local context - and our advice should be used as a basis for these decisions.
NHS boards considering advice from SHTG
NHS boards are required to consider advice from SHTG. That does not mean that each board has to follow SHTG advice, but boards are encouraged to have mechanisms (that is, a consideration process) in place to receive and communicate our advice.
NHS boards have autonomy to agree a consideration process that works best for their structures; promoting local ownership, decision making, accountability and skills.
NHS boards are invited to speak with SHTG to determine the best ‘route’ into the board. In other words, where our advice should be sent to and who is the right team or accountable individual(s) for receiving the advice. SHTG disseminates advice via Our Advice webpage and through distribution emails upon publication.
NHS boards responding to advice
To-date, we have worked with colleagues in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Grampian, NHS Borders and NHS Lanarkshire to develop a communication process to receive formal responses to SHTG advice.
At SHTG, we are keen to continue to work with NHS boards to strengthen their processes for considering national advice on health technologies and embed the role of evidence within decision-making.