The update comes following a guideline development process that lasted seven years and resulted in an unprecedented three-year consultation. The delay follows the persistence of the coalition of stakeholders to call on NICE to address major methodological flaws that underpinned previous drafts of the guideline.
We are pleased to see there is now a strong focus on personalised care and a significant emphasis on the importance of service user choice and shared decision-making – all of which were notably absent from previous drafts. These changes should result in significant improvements in care for people with depression.
While NICE has not addressed all the key methodological issues that were raised, and there are still improvements to be made, we appreciate the significant efforts made by the Guideline Committee.
In order to deliver the recommendations in the new guidelines, it is vital that both the government and NHS address the severe shortages in the psychological workforce and commit to investing in the training and recruitment needed to provide adequate care for people with depression. Without this investment, people will struggle to get the support and help they need.
The coalition will continue to work together to encourage NICE to adapt its guideline development process and to ensure the growing number of people seeking mental health care are supported to find the right treatment for them.