The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has put forward 32 new indicators to help support clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) make the best decisions for their patients.

If approved, the new indicators will form part of the Clinical Commissioning Group Outcomes Indicator Set (CCG OIS) - previously known as the Commissioning Outcomes Framework - which is designed to support CCGs and boost the quality of care of patients in England.

The new set includes an indicator for dementia, one of the greatest healthcare challenges which is already thought to cost the economy £23 billion but remains woefully under-diagnosed.

As per NICE's quality standard for dementia, it is proposed that the OIS will carry a measure that people presenting with suspected dementia be given a memory assessment within three months, in order to speed diagnosis and treatment.

Elsewhere, other planned indicators target slashing premature mortality from cancer through keeping a check on the timeliness of diagnoses, measuring the number of cancers diagnosed via emergency routes, the stage of the disease at diagnosis and the number of cancers detected at stage 1 or 2.

The CCG OIS is a key strand of the NHS Commissioning Board's (NHSCB) strategy of pushing quality improvement, by providing data on the quality of health services and outcomes provided by each commissioning group, for patient and public access.

Appropriate indicators from the NHS Outcomes Framework will be included in the set, and NICE said it will support the NHSCB by developing the extra indicators, particularly ones based on NICE quality standards.

"Our experience and expertise in developing indicators will ensure that we provide the NHS Commissioning Board with a suite of indicators based on the best available evidence," noted Professor Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive and Health and Social Care Director at the Institute.