Celebrating NICE's 10th anniversary: our clinical guidance
NICE is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Set up on 1 April 1999, the organisation has produced nearly 600 sets of recommendations for the NHS. This has included 88 clinical guidelines on how to treat and care for people with specific diseases and conditions - in fact, NICE is the most prolific developer of clinical guidelines in the world.
Subjects covered have ranged from cancer and cardiovascular disease to obstetrics and gynaecology, endocrinology, gastrointestinal and mental health. In addition, we have published 10 cancer service delivery guidelines giving advice on the infrastructure needed to support high quality service provision.
“In my view, the clinical guidelines are making a very substantial difference to the management of patients with a wide range of conditions,” said NICE Chair Sir Michael Rawlins.
“In a survey of national guidelines for the management of schizophrenia, for example, NICE's guideline was judged to be much better than any of the 24 other national clinical guidelines. This guideline has also been adopted by Spain, Italy, Australia and California in the USA,” he added.
Mike, who has been with the organisation since the start, describes interest in NICE's processes and programmes as “extraordinary”. “For example, in 2008 there were an average 486,246 visits to our website a month. In addition, a systematic review identified over 2000 reports in peer-reviewed journals that included NICE in the title.”
Back in 1999, NICE focused on giving the NHS advice on the use of new and existing medicines, treatments and procedures (or ‘health technologies'). Now we have three different programmes covering a range of healthcare issues and resulting in a plethora of advice.
Clinical guidelines aside, as of June 2009, this has included 304 sets of recommendations on the safety and effectiveness of (mainly) new invasive procedures.
These interventional procedures are used to diagnose and treat a range of conditions. This includes musculoskeletal, neurological, ophthamological, urological, gastro-intestinal and gynaecological disorders, cancer, vascular disease and ear, nose and throat problems.
In addition, we have produced 172 technology appraisals. Seventy five per cent involve drugs or medication of some kind. The rest mainly cover surgical procedures or the use of devices such as heart pacemakers or cochlear implants (to help someone hear more effectively).
For more on our fourth programme, on public health, see ‘Guidance in focus' on 17 August.
Issued: 3 August 2009
This page was last updated: 10 May 2010