123 new quality standards announced

The latest set of quality standards covering a wide range of topics, including heart failure, irritable bowel syndrome, skin cancer, and obesity in adults, has been referred to NICE.

NICE will also, for the first time, develop public health quality standards in areas that relate to the NHS.

The topics cover standards for smoking cessation, encouraging physical activity in all people in contact with the NHS and for preventing and managing alcohol misuse.

This is in line with a recommendation by the NHS Future Forum - a group of 45 independent health experts led by Professor Steve Field -for NICE to develop quality standards setting out the evidence based action that the NHS can take in relation to the main lifestyle risk factors.

8037901-article-hospitaldoctorsNICE's quality standards outline the vision of what high-quality care should look like on the NHS, and will form the basis of commissioning decisions taken by the NHS Commissioning Board.

To date, there are 15 published quality standards and a further 20 in development.

This latest referral from the Department of Health will see NICE produce its first quality standards for blood disorders, hearing loss, skin conditions including psoriasis, and a number of service delivery standards such as out-of-hours care and trauma services.

Other quality standard topics include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Contraceptive services
  • Premature birth
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Low back pain
  • Fractures

Dr Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Health and Social Care at NICE, said: “We are delighted to have been referred this very comprehensive list of quality standards for development.

“The breadth of topics being referred to us, together with the quality standards we have already published and those we are currently developing, will allow us to integrate our recommendations for the health, social care and public health sectors and define what best quality care looks like across the board.

“Our quality standards are an important focus for quality improvement. They are evidence-based, drawing on NICE guidance as well as other NICE-accredited sources of guidance, and will support organisations in achieving the vision set out in the NHS Outcomes Framework.

“Perhaps more importantly, they will also give individual patients, carers, service users and the public the opportunity to see what care they should expect from their providers.”

The quality standards have been referred by the Department of Health, following advice from the National Quality Board (NQB).

The NQB developed a proposed list of topics in partnership with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges which was then the subject of an engagement exercise conducted between 15 August - 14 October 2011.

Responses to the engagement exercise were supportive of the overall quality standards programme and the diversity of topics put forward.

Latest quality standards referred to NICE:

Cardiovascular standards

  • Acute heart failure
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Secondary care management of malignant hypertension
  • Lipid modification
  • Secondary prevention of myocardial infarction and cardiac rehabilitation
  • Familial hypercholesterolaemia
  • Risk assessment of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Varicose veins
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm

Gastrointestinal standards

  • Cholelithiasis and cholecystitis
  • Diverticular disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Coeliac disease
  • Liver disease (non-alcoholic)
  • Cirrhosis
  • Pancreatitis(including acute pancreatitis)
  • Hernia (including femoral and inguinal)

Respiratory standards

  • Pneumonia (including community acquired pneumonia)
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sleep disordered breathing

Mental health standards

  • Anxiety
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Depression (children and young people)
  • Eating disorders (including children)
  • Personality disorders (borderline and antisocial)
  • Autism (children and young people)
  • Conduct disorders (children and young people)
  • Self harm (vulnerable groups, children and young people)

Neurological standards

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Faecal incontinence
  • Delirium
  • Management of transient loss of consciousness in adults
  • Motor neurone disease
  • Neurological problems (relatively uncommon neurological problems e.g. muscular dystrophy)

Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic

  • Obesity (adults)
  • Thyroid disease
  • Adrenal dysfunction

Maternity and reproductive

  • Induction of labour
  • Diabetes in pregnancy
  • Premature labour
  • Antenatal and postnatal mental health
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Menopause
  • Endometriosis
  • Contraceptive services (including emergency contraception)

Neonates and children

  • Bronchiolitis
  • Premature birth
  • Constipation (children and young people)
  • Neonatal jaundice
  • Nocturnal enuresis
  • Antibiotics for neonatal infection
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Failure to thrive
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Developmental follow-up of pre-term babies
  • Blood transfusion in neonatology
  • Parenteral nutrition in neonates
  • Childhood obesity
  • Urinary tract infection (children)
  • Feverish illness in childhood
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (children)


  • Urinary tract infections
  • Renal replacement therapy services
  • Renal stones
  • Urinary incontinence (women)
  • Acute kidney injury (non-traumatic)

Cancers and tumours

  • Cancer chemotherapy
  • Haematological malignancies
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Sarcoma
  • Skin cancer (including melanoma)
  • Children and young people with cancer
  • Metastatic spinal cord compression
  • Referral for suspected cancer
  • Radiotherapy services
  • Bladder Cancer

Blood disorders

  • Sickle cell crisis
  • Transfusion


  • Low back pain
  • Seronegative arthropathies
  • Elective joint replacement (hip, knees and shoulder)


  • Macular degeneration
  • Cataracts


  • Hearing loss (adult onset)
  • Tinnitus


  • Eczema in children
  • Psoriasis
  • Acne

Infectious disease

  • Tuberculosis
  • Infection control
  • Surgical site infection and sepsis

Trauma and injuries

  • Fractures (excluding head and hip)
  • Major trauma
  • Resuscitation following major trauma and major blood loss
  • Complex fractures (including compound fractures)


  • Urgent & emergency care
  • Perioperative care
  • Long-term conditions, people with comorbidities, complex needs
  • Pain management (young people and adults)
  • Medicines adherence
  • Nutrition in hospital, including young people
  • Managing symptoms with an uncertain cause
  • Diagnosis and management of drug allergy
  • Challenging behaviour in learning disability
  • Mental health problems with learning disability
  • End of life care for infants, children and young people
  • Intravenous fluids in children

Service delivery topics

  • Provision of termination of pregnancy services
  • Trauma services
  • Acute medical admissions in the first 48 hours
  • Managing the transition from children's to adult services
  • Consultant review within 12 hours of admission
  • Out of hours care
  • Readmissions
  • Seven day working
  • Readmission to ICU within 48hrs

NHS-facing Quality Standards on cross-cutting public health topics

  • Smoking cessation: supporting people to stop smoking
  • Physical activity: encouraging activity in all people in contact with the NHS (staff, patients and carers)
  • Alcohol: preventing and managing alcohol misuse

21March 2012

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Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.

Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.