National Institiue for Health and Clinical Excellence

Annual Review - 2009/2010

We're working hard to engage with a variety of national organisations so that NICE guidance is embedded in local practice wherever possible.

Helping people to use our guidance

Putting NICE guidance into practice can be challenging. NICE has an Implementation team which provides practical support to the people responsible for making sure NICE guidance is used – this includes people in the NHS, local authorities, employers, schools and the wider private, public and voluntary sectors.

NICE’s Implementation team works in a variety of ways, at a national level and locally, to help people put guidance into practice. This year, the team produced a suite of tools – from costing tools and audit tools to slide sets and commissioning guides – to support NICE guidance published in 2009/10. These tools, which anyone can download from the NICE website, show how NICE guidance can help cut costs, improve the quality of care, and help organisations meet nationally agreed standards for better health.

In 2009/10 the Implementation team also worked with the Department of Health and the Department for Children, Schools and Families, with the result that they recommended that NICE guidance is used to help promote good health for children and young people in the government’s Healthy Schools guide.

The NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) has also been an important partner this year. Trusts are risk assessed by the NHSLA, so the Implementation team has been working on a system that means trusts that want to show they have the highest risk management standards have to show that they have implemented NICE guidance.

Val Moore, Implementation Director at NICE, explains the importance of this kind of work: “We’re working hard to engage with a variety of national organisations so that NICE guidance is embedded in local practice wherever possible.”

In 2009/10 the Implementation team also collaborated with the Department of Health, the Information Centre and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry to produce a report on the uptake of NICE-appraised medicines. The report was a response to the 2009 Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme agreement and was published in September 2009.

Another highlight this year was the continued success of the partnership with BMJ Learning – another ten online educational modules have been produced aimed at healthcare professionals, especially GPs, pharmacists and practice nurses. The hour-long modules use clear clinical scenarios to illustrate how particular pieces of NICE guidance can be used. In March 2010 the educational programme celebrated its 100,000th completed module since it began in 2005. Read more about NICE’s educational programme for healthcare professionals

Working with commissioners

Most NHS commissioners are based in primary care trusts and it is their job to determine the healthcare needs of the local population and then arrange for them to be served by local hospitals, general practices, and other providers.

Commissioners are a key audience for NICE guidance, and the Implementation team produces a range of support tools specifically for them, including commissioning guides that outline when and how commissioners can intervene proactively to ensure services in their area are provided in line with NICE guidance.

A special ‘How to...’ guide for commissioners, giving general advice on how to build NICE guidance into their work was launched at the NICE annual conference in December 2009.

In 2009/10 the team worked with commissioners to determine how to improve topic-specific commissioning guides. Following feedback all 30 commissioning guides available on the NICE website were revamped, including five new guides published this year, making them easier to use and more accessible on the NICE website.

Find out more about NICE’s support for commissioners on the NICE website.