NICE to develop 31 new quality standards

NICE is to develop 31 new quality standards in clinical areas such as asthma, diabetes in children, epilepsy and lung cancer. The new standards, which have been referred to NICE by the Department of Health, will add to the four already published by NICE in 2010[1], with a further nine currently in development and due for publication later this year[2].

Aimed at patients and the public, healthcare professionals, public health practitioners, commissioners and service providers, NICE quality standards are markers of excellence in patient care. They are developed in collaboration with the NHS and social care professionals, along with their partners and service users and are the only health and social care standards that apply nationally in England.

Based on the best available evidence, usually NICE guidance or other sources that have been accredited by NHS Evidence, NICE quality standards will play a key role in the new NHS Outcomes Framework, which sets out the aims and objectives towards improving outcomes in the NHS, and what this means for patients and healthcare professionals.

Dr Fergus Macbeth, Centre for Clinical Practice Director at NICE said: “This work is central to supporting the government's vision for an NHS focussed on delivering the best possible outcomes for patients, using the very highest standards of evidence-based practice. Therefore we are very pleased to be announcing the next phase of NICE quality standards, which will be used by the NHS as a benchmark for high-quality, cost-effective services.“

There is further information on quality standards on the NICE website at:


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Notes to Editors

1. The 31 topics are:

  1. Acute chest pain
  2. Antenatal care
  3. Asthma (including children and young people)
  4. Bipolar disorder in adults
  5. Bipolar disorder in children and adolescents
  6. Colorectal cancer
  7. Diabetes in children (type 1 and type 2)
  8. Diagnosis and management of hepatitis B, all ages
  9. Drug use disorders (over-16s)
  10. Epilepsy in adults
  11. Epilepsy in children
  12. Falls in a care setting
  13. Head injury
  14. Hip fractures
  15. Intrapartum care (management and care of women in labour and delivery)
  16. Intravenous fluid therapy in hospitalised adult patients
  17. Lung cancer
  18. Management of myocardial infarction
  19. Management of ulcerative colitis
  20. Meningitis in people under 16
  21. Migraine/headache (over 12 years of age)
  22. Nutrition in hospital, including young people
  23. Osteoarthritis
  24. Ovarian cancer
  25. Postnatal care
  26. Pressure ulcers
  27. Prostate cancer
  28. Pulmonary embolism
  29. Reflux disease (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease)
  30. Safe prescribing
  31. Schizophrenia

2. The NHS Outcomes Framework can be found at:

3. Quality standard topics are referred to NICE by ministers on the advice of the National Quality Board, a group of representatives from health and social care, committed to improving quality in the NHS and overseeing the reforms aimed at improving care. Further information on the National Quality Board can be found at:

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 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.


[1] The quality standards published by NICE in 2010 are on stroke, dementia, venous thromboembolism (VTE) prevention, and specialist neonatal care.

[2] The new standards to be published in 2011 are on depression, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic kidney disease, diabetes, glaucoma, end of life care, alcohol dependence, breast cancer, and chronic heart failure.

This page was last updated: 02 February 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.