Making the most of NICE guidance - advice for practices
Busy schedules and the demands of running a practice can make it difficult to keep up to date with the latest guidance and quality standards from NICE.
To help you with this, we have come up with a few tips to ensure your practice is making the best use of the guidance we produce each month.
Appoint a NICE lead
Delegating one person from your practice to be the NICE lead is a good way of making sure that your practice keeps up to date.
The NICE lead will be responsible for developing a system and process for identifying guidance suitable for your practice. They will also make sure that all relevant recommendations are implemented.
It will be up to the NICE lead to champion our guidance, and that accredited by NHS Evidence, to help other team members follow the recommendations.
Debate, discuss, deliver
Regular practice meetings present an ideal opportunity for you to discuss the key pieces of guidance we publish and ensure delivery is coordinated across your team.
They will allow you to explore how new guidance might lead to changes in workload or in financial resources, let you share ideas on best ways to follow NICE guidance, and give you the opportunity to agree on how outcomes can be measured.
It is important that the whole team, including nurses and administrative staff, are aware of developments. So use these opportunities to raise discussions on the main pieces of guidance produced.
PowerPoint slide sets that we often publish alongside guidance might be an ideal resource for communicating the main guideline messages. These can be edited and adapted to suit your practice needs.
Using our tools to change practice
Nominating a clinical lead for each piece of guidance is a useful way of implementing any changes in practice in line with NICE recommendations.
The clinical lead can use the implementation support tools we produce alongside each guideline to determine what needs to be changed. These resources are useful ways of identifying which recommendations apply to your practice and whether your practice already complies with the recommendations.
Once changes to practice have been identified, a simple action plan is a good way of determining what the changes to practice might be, who will make them, and when they will be done by. An action plan template for is available to download from our website.
We also provide advice on our website on overcoming common barriers that can prevent guidance from being put into practice. This advice covers dealing with funding issues, such as the tension between promoting NICE guidance and guarding against overspend of budgets.
Once changes to practice have been made, it might be worth checking that these have been done appropriately. This could be done by carrying out a clinical audit to make sure a template has been amended or a new procedure introduced.
Liaise with commissioners to ensure you are providing the evidence they need that NICE guidance is being followed.
For more advice and information on how you can help put NICE guidance into practice, please visit the GP section of our website.
26 October 2011