Implementing Clinical Guidelines (NICE)

With the continuing move towards evidence based practice, an increasing number of national guidelines are being produced. The majority of guidelines are published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), an independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health. There are several different types of NICE guidance:

  • Technology Appraisals (TA) - Guidance on the use of new and existing medicines and treatments within the NHS in England and Wales.
  • Clinical Guidelines (CG) - Guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS in England and Wales.
  • Interventional Procedures (IP) - Guidance on whether interventional procedures used for diagnosis or treatment are safe enough and work well enough for routine use.
  • Public Health Programme Guidance (PH) - Guidance on the broader actions required for the promotion of good health and the prevention of ill-health.
  • Medical Technologies Guidance (MTG) - Evaluation of innovative medical technologies, to help the NHS adopt efficient and cost effective medical devices and diagnostics more rapidly and consistently.
  • Diagnostic Guidance (DG) - Guidance designed to help the NHS adopt efficient and cost effective medical diagnostic technologies more rapidly and consistently. The programme concentrates on pathological tests, imaging, endoscopy and physiological measurement.
  • In 2015, NICE moved to a new way of guideline numbering following the decision to use a single set of methods and processes to develop all NICE guidelines - whether they are clinical, public health, social care, safe staffing or medicines practice guidelines. These will now be prefixed with “NG”.

NICE also produce Quality Standards (QS) which are sets of specific, concise statements that act as markers of high-quality, cost effective patient care, covering the treatment and prevention of different diseases and conditions. These are based upon existing guidance, and are used increasingly by commissioners to identify and procure good quality services. A Quality Standard can be based on several pieces of guidance and most are not comprehensive descriptions of care pathways, jusy key identifiers of good practice.

Guidance also includes National Confidential Enquiries (eg. the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death), National Service Frameworks, high level enquiries, publications from the Royal Colleges, Professional Societies (eg. UK Resuscitation Council guidelines) and any other publications relevant to clinical practice within the Trust, such as the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC).

The Medical Directorate review a range of online resources on a weekly basis, in order to identify recently published guidelines, which are then entered onto the Trust's Register of Guidelines. The register contains details of all published guidelines; whether they are applicable to the Trust, the approval process and where appropriate the actions required to ensure compliance. The guideline is reviewed by the Clinical Development Officer (East).

Click on the menu section on the left to see NICE guidance and standards relevant to the Trust, including links to original documents and Trust compliance/action plans.

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Paramedics and volunteers will be offering free blood pressure checks for any visitors to the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) stand this week at the Devon County Show. The team will also be doing CPR demonstrations and educating the public how to act fast and help save patients who may need quick action when they become ill.

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