The Association for British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) has expressed concern that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence’s reduction in the number of its appraisal committees will result in patients "missing out" on new technology.

The ABHI, a trade association that represents several computer hardware and software suppliers to the NHS as well as medical device manufacturers, said that the cuts will delay the evaluation of its members’ products and hence have implications for improving patient care.

John Wilkinson, director general of the ABHI, said: "It clearly makes no sense to invest heavily in health but at the same time to massively cut investment in making sure the most effective and cost-efficient treatments are used. It is certainly not the case that there is a lack of potentially life-saving devices and systems that need evaluation."

The three technology appraisal committees at NICE, which handle both pharmaceuticals and technology, had been cut down to two due to a £3.5m cut in funding last month. According to the Department of Health, cutting one committee would not have an effect on overall appraisal times because the extra committee was "no longer essential".

"Reducing the capacity isn’t going to make it more efficient," said a spokesperson for ABHI, disagreeing with the DH. "There was an idea that there was a lack of new technologies being assessed. That’s not the case."

Although the ABHI was unable to put a figure on how much longer they believed appraisals of their member’s products would take, they said that many of their members were anxious. "There are new technologies coming through. The point is that it isn’t just new pharmaceuticals involved."

Andrew Dillon, chief executive of NICE, told the Daily Telegraph: "When it became apparent that money was not coming, the third committee became unsustainable. Not having that committee meant that we had to put back the publication date of around a dozen appraisals."

ABHI have written to NICE to ask for clarification. Wilkinson added: "We would be more than happy to sit down with them and the government to address this challenge."