New online tool brings all related NICE guidance together for first time

Today (Tuesday 10 May), the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has launched NICE Pathways at its annual conference in Birmingham. An online tool for health and social care professionals, NICE Pathways brings together all connected NICE guidance on a topic in a user-friendly electronic flowchart.

Previously there has been no easy way to see at a glance everything NICE has said on a specific condition, for example diabetes, across all its separate published guidance. For the first time ever, this digital resource will allow users to quickly view and navigate NICE guidance and other tools on any given topic across an entire care pathway. For example, the postnatal care pathway considers everything from the baby's first 24 hours up until the first 2 - 8 weeks.

The 18 pathways launched today cover alcohol-use disorders, anaemia management in chronic kidney disease, breast cancer, chronic heart failure, chronic kidney disease (CKD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), dementia, depression, diabetes, diabetes in pregnancy, diet, glaucoma, neonatal jaundice, physical activity, postnatal care, smoking, stroke, and venous thromboembolism (VTE) prevention.

Covering the whole range of different types of NICE advice, including health technology appraisals, clinical guidelines, public health and social care advice, quality standards and implementation tools, this is part of a wider move to provide a more personalised, audience-focused way of looking at NICE guidance.

Users do not need to understand how NICE classifies its guidance to read everything NICE has said on a particular topic. They will now be able to easily select the sections of guidance they need. This new resource will also greatly facilitate access to NICE guidance for commissioners, who need to commission care across a whole pathway.

Individual pathways also link to other related pathways - for example the diet pathway links with the physical activity pathway. NICE Pathways will continue to develop by including more content and more topics as new NICE guidance is published and by adding new features such as linking to the evidence behind NICE recommendations.

Dr Gillian Leng, NICE Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer for NHS Evidence, said: "NICE Pathways is for anyone who needs to use NICE guidance. Starting with a broad overview allows the user to explore in increasing detail NICE recommendations and advice. For example, you may be interested in finding out what NICE has said on stroke. There might be technology appraisal guidance, clinical guidelines and perhaps a quality standard as well. NICE Pathways will connect all of this advice together in one place.

"NICE Pathways will provide a useful starting point for users new to a topic, while giving specialists confidence that they are up to date with everything NICE has recommended.

Dr Leng continued: "This is an important part of a bigger picture to fully digitise our guidance and resources that will eventually result in our guidance being available through enhanced Internet access and mobile devices. We will develop full text searching and eventual linking from NICE Pathways to the evidence used to develop NICE guidance recommendations. We also anticipate that third-party providers of information will be able to use our products in applications such as decision support systems."

The pathways will be available on the NICE website at and the NHS Evidence website at from late in the day on Monday 9 May.


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About NICE Pathways

1. NICE Pathways will be available for journalists to view from midday on Monday 9 May at

2. NICE Pathways will be launched at the NICE Annual Conference on 10 and 11 May in Birmingham.

3. NICE has prioritised a number of pathways for the initial launch phase, containing around 90 pieces of guidance. It has prioritised pathways on topics that relate to NICE's work on quality standards.

4. NICE Pathways focuses on helping people understand NICE guidance and associated resources.

5. NICE Pathways only contains NICE guidance - it is a visual representation of what NICE has said on a topic. They are syntheses of existing guidance rather than new recommendations and advice.

6. NICE Pathways is for anyone who needs to use NICE guidance. This includes all health and social care professionals and public health experts, as well as those who commission or use health and social care services, employers and members of the public.

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. NICEprovides advice and support on putting NICE guidance and standards into practice through its 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: 06 May 2011

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Selected, reliable information for health and social care in one place

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.