NICE interventional procedures programme publishes landmark 300th guideline
In May the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published its 300th piece of interventional procedures (IP) guidance.
Launched in 2002, the IP programme produces recommendations on whether interventional procedures used for diagnosis or treatment are safe enough and work well enough for routine use in the NHS. The programme also helps patients to understand new procedures and their risks by producing information for them about each procedure and NICE's recommendations.
For example, the guidance on keyhole surgery to remove all or part of the stomach as a treatment for people with stomach cancer recognises that there is now good evidence that this procedure is safe and effective when carried out by well-trained doctors. For patients, keyhole surgery means less time in hospital, faster recovery and smaller scars.
“The IP programme makes it possible for new treatments and tests to be introduced into the NHS in a responsible way.” Explains Professor Bruce Campbell, Chair of the Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee “It is a vital step in enabling patients to access innovative procedures in a safe and informed way, ensuring extra measures are taken to explain any uncertainty about how well procedures work and any potential risks.
“Since its inception, the programme has produced guidance on a wide variety of topics including total wrist replacement, living donor lung transplantation for end-stage lung disease and photorefractive (laser) surgery for the correction of refractive error.”
The independent Interventional Procedure Advisory Committee (IPAC) which produces the guidance includes health professionals working in the NHS and people who are familiar with the issues affecting patients and carers. The committee takes advice from specialist advisors, nominated by health professional bodies whose members are involved in the use of interventional procedures.
NICE produced its first IP guidance - on uterine artery embolisation for fibroids - in July 2003 and the 300th, issued in May 2009, is keyhole treatment of a prolapsed (slipped) lumbar disc by endoscope-guided laser. All published IP guidelines can be found on the NICE website - http://www.nice.org.uk/Guidance/IP/Published
23 June 2009
This page was last updated: 12 July 2010