Research Design Service: East Midlands
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HTA remit

  Created on Tuesday, 10 Mar 2020.

The remit for the researcher-led HTA stream hasn't been changed, but now remit and competitive checks now go out to a wider range of people including funding committee chairs and panel chairs and the feedback researchers receive is slightly more helpful and explains why the project isn't in remit.

Remit itself remains as knowing the intervention can work and asking does it work when tested in a national study and is it cost effective for the NHS.

To prove an intervention can work HTA need to see a good signal that it will work if applied across the NHS, usually this evidence will come from a previous small RCT that shows an efficacy signal under ideal circumstances with a health outcome, strong surrogate or meta analysis of an RCT. It's recognised that efficacy for complex interventions can be challenging but the panel still needs a convincing explanation of how the intervention is likely to result in the proposed effect.

It is helpful to have feasibility studies showing that the intervention is acceptable to the population being studied and that randomisation into the study is possible but feasibility is not enough by itself and an efficacy signal will be needed.

HTA evaluates interventions in typical NHS or social care settings with typical NHS or social care users and the panel will need to be convinced that the intervention is ready for such pragmatic evaluation.

The only exception where efficacy signal isn't needed is where an intervention is already widely used in the NHS but evidence of value or harm is lacking. These are usually picked up by the commissioning brief but you can bring one to the researcher-led stream as long as you can demonstrate that decision makers will be responsive to your results.

More information about remit and efficacy can be found on the NIHR website guide