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NICE to develop new guideline on acute painful sickle cell episode

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently in the early stages of developing a short guideline on the management of an acute painful sickle cell episode in hospital. Sickle cell is one of the most common genetic disorders in England, affecting thousands of people.

NICE has today opened the consultation on the draft scope, which will define what aspects of care the guideline will cover and who it will apply to. This consultation gives registered stakeholders a chance to submit comments, providing them with an early opportunity to inform NICE of their thoughts on what they think the guideline should look like.

Sickle cell affects around 12,500 - 15,000 people in the UK, with an estimated 240,000 genetic carriers. It is more prevalent among people of Caribbean and African descent, but it can affect any racial group, and as it is an inherited genetic disorder, it is impossible to automatically exclude anyone. The condition affects the normal oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells, which should be round and flexible, allowing them to easily move around the body. But in people with sickle cell, the shape and texture of the blood cells can change, and they become hard and sticky, shaped like sickles, or crescents. The cells die more quickly than usual blood cells, so people with the disorder do not have enough red blood cells. Symptoms may include severe anaemia and intense pain, and it can cause damage to major organs and infections. There is no routine cure for sickle cell but patients can be supported to manage their pain, and with regular monitoring life threatening complications such as stroke can be avoided.

Christine Carson, Programme Director, Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE said: "NICE is pleased to be publishing the draft scope of the short guideline on sickle cell crisis. This is an important opportunity for registered stakeholders to tell us what they think of our plans for the short guideline. Sickle cell is more common than people might think so it is essential that there are clear, evidence-based guidelines in place to help improve the management of sickle cell crises in hospital."

The draft scope can be found at: http://guidance.nice.org.uk/CG/Wave24/6

Stakeholders have until Tuesday 5 July 2011 to submit comments. The publication date of the final clinical guideline is yet to be confirmed.

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Notes to editors

1. The draft scope can be found at http://guidance.nice.org.uk/CG/Wave24/6

2. The scope may describe:

  • groups of patients whose care is to be included or excluded - for example, particular age groups, or people with certain types of disease
  • where treatment will be carried out - for example, by GPs (primary care), in hospital (secondary care) or in specialist units (tertiary care)
  • treatments to be included and excluded - for example, diagnostic tests, surgical, medical and psychological treatments, rehabilitation.

3. National organisations representing patients and carers and also healthcare professionals involved in their care can register as stakeholders. Stakeholders are consulted throughout the guideline development process.

4. Stakeholder organisations can register throughout the development process and contribute from that point onward.

5. Stakeholders are invited to submit comments on the draft scope through the NICE website. When commenting, it is important to take account of what NICE clinical guidelines can realistically be expected to cover.

6. These comments will then be collated and considered, and the scope finalised.

7. For further details on clinical guideline development, please see the NICE website at:http://www.nice.org.uk/aboutnice/howwework/developingniceclinicalguidelines/developing_nice_clinical_guidelines.jsp

About NICE

1. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance and standards on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health.

2. NICE produces guidance in three areas of health:

  • public health - guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention of ill health for those working in the NHS, local authorities and the wider public and voluntary sector
  • health technologies - guidance on the use of new and existing medicines, treatments, medical technologies (including devices and diagnostics) and procedures within the NHS
  • clinical practice - guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS.

3. NICE produces standards for patient care:

  • quality standards - these reflect the very best in high quality patient care, to help healthcare practitioners and commissioners of care deliver excellent services
  • Quality and Outcomes Framework - NICE develops the clinical and health improvement indicators in the QOF, the Department of Health scheme which rewards GPs for how well they care for patients.

4. NICE provides advice and support on putting NICE guidance and standards into practice throughits implementation programme, and it collates and accredits high quality health guidance, research and information to help health professionals deliver the best patient care through NHS Evidence.

This page was last updated: 07 June 2011

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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.