Chair's and Chief Executive's foreword

In our first year as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – our third name since we
were established in 1999 – our main challenge has been to maintain and build on the relationships
we have created with the NHS and local government in our clinical and public health programmes,
and at the same time reach out to the social care communities with whom we will work.

The opportunity to create best practice solutions for social care, alongside our offer to the NHS and
public health communities, is perhaps the most significant development in our portfolio since our
merger with the Health Development Agency in 2005. As we launch our new programme of social
care guidance and quality standards, helping health and social care professionals to work more
closely and effectively together, we will help to improve care and reveal more opportunities for
better use of resources.

The report by Robert Francis into the care provided by the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust
revealed how poor care can exist even when guidelines and standards, from NICE and other bodies,
set out what can and ought to be achieved with current resources. Recommendations for NICE to
further develop our quality standards and prepare guidance on safe staffing levels will enable us
to do more to help ensure that such extreme examples of failure do not occur again. Our first
guidance on staffing levels should be published in July 2014.

The Francis Report also reminds us of the challenge involved in making sure our guidance is part of
day to day practice. We have reviewed how our implementation resources are being deployed, to
help us engage with maximum effect in the new NHS and social care architecture.

That changing architecture has also caused us to review our relationships with existing bodies both
locally and nationally, and to create new ones with organisations such as NHS England and Public
Health England. One year on, these new partnerships are proving to be both productive and robust
as we test them in new and sometimes unpredictable circumstances.

Through all this change, our staff and the individuals and organisations with whom we work to
create our guidance remain the reason we succeed. They are by far the most important part of
NICE. We are, as ever, enormously grateful to them.

Professor David Haslam CBE Chair
Sir Andrew Dillon Chief Executive