The government has been accused of 'sneaking rationing' into the remit of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris condemned the government's 'dishonesty' in amending the statutory instrument establishing NICE. The first draft of the instrument says NICE 'shall perform such functions in accordance with the promotion of clinical excellence in the health service as the secretary of state may direct'. But in an amendment which was laid before Parliament in August, the phrase 'and of the effective use of available resources' was inserted after the words 'clinical excellence'. The Liberal Democrats have asked for a standing committee debate on rationing in the NHS, with specific reference to the change in wording. The government has promised to respond 'within two or three weeks'.