The Cypriot authorities recently agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF that focuses on a comprehensive agenda of reforms, including an overhaul of the healthcare system. One aspect relates to the development and implementation of clinical practice guidelines.
With EU support, NICE International is working with the Cypriot authorities, the Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance Organisation, in their ambition to “adapt and adopt” existing clinical practice guidelines for their own context and develop mechanisms to support their implementation in Cyprus as part of more comprehensive healthcare reforms. This engagement involves the provision of advice and support in relation to ongoing work by the Cypriots to develop a manual for developing and implementing clinical guidelines in their jurisdiction.
NICE International hosts colleagues from the Cypriot authorities to take part in a final two days of training
In the final visit to NICE as part of this EU funded project a delegation from the Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance Organisation spent two days discussing the importance of Institutionalising evidence-based policy making and how to support implementation and assess the impact of guidance. The delegation also met with the NICE Accreditation team and Professor David Haslam, Chair of NICE.
Challenges to the implementation of clinical guidelines in Cyprus: a workshop looking at barriers and enablers to best practice
Francis Ruiz of NICE International and Professor David Haslam, Chair of NICE participated in a workshop on guideline implementation in Cyprus in Nicosia. The workshop included an overview of the importance and role of clinical guidelines in health systems, illustrated with examples from the work NICE does in the UK.
Attendees at the workshop included senior clinicians and allied healthcare professionals from all hospitals in Cyprus, senior representatives from primary care setting, and representatives from the Cypriot Medical Association, National Health Insurance Organization, Ministry of Health, and Cyprus Scientific Societies. In a highly interactive session participants were asked about barriers and enablers to the uptake of best practice recommendations. A number of issues were raised based on a framework that considered implementation at different levels within the Cypriot health system.
Aside from the level of human and financial resources available to support implementation, many participants noted the importance of embedding a culture among all relevant actors in the system that values the generation of evidence and its application in decision making.
In addition to the guidelines workshop, the visit to Cyprus included meetings with the Director General of the Health Insurance Organization, Mr Andreas Demetriades, and the Cypriot Minister of Health, Professor Philippos Patsalis. During the meeting with Mr Demetriades, the planned reforms to the Cypriot health service were discussed including the role of guidelines and incentives to improve quality.
The meeting with the Minister underscored the emphasis on quality as part of the changes being introduced and the importance of effective primary care. The Minister also expressed his wish for continued collaboration with NICE International beyond the end of this present EU supported project.
NICE International hosts colleagues from the Cypriot authorities to take part in a two days of training
This first study visit to NICE provided an introduction to the AGREE tool for quality assessing already published guidelines prior to their possible adaptation to the Cypriot context. Using stroke management as an example and the lessons of reforming stroke services in London, the study visit also explored why and how NICE guidelines are developed, the role of cost-effectiveness considerations, and how the recommendations in these UK guidelines are currently being adopted/adapted in Cyprus. The workshop also considered the role of NICE derived “Quality Standards” and the range of tools available (including financial and non-financial incentives) to support implementation. Speakers included the Chair of NICE, Professor David Haslam, and Professor Tony Rudd, National Clinical Director for Stroke (NHS England).