A simple practice system
NICE recommends that general practices use a simple system to ensure that changes are discussed and introduced when NICE publishes guidance.
- Appoint a NICE lead for the practice
- Make sure your practice is aware of the latest guidance
- Discuss new NICE guidance in your practice meeting
- Check what, if anything, needs to be changed
- Have a clear, simple plan to make the changes
- After a while, check that the changes have been made, and that everyone is following the guidance
We recommend that your practice identifies a person to be responsible for developing a system and process for identifying guidance that is relevant and for making decisions and liaising with the most appropriate people, to ensure that the relevant recommendations are implemented. There may be implications for your practice even in guidance which may seem mainly for hospitals.
The NICE lead will be a champion for our guidance and guidance accredited by NICE Evidence Services to help other team members to follow the recommendations.
If you decide that the practice manager should be the NICE lead, then it is important that a clinical advisor is available to discuss the relevance of each piece of NICE guidance soon after it is published.
Your practice can keep up-to-date with the latest guidance by:
- Subscribing to the Update for Primary Care emails which contain links to all the relevant guidance.
- Using the Forward planner on our website
- Checking the ´Is my practice up to date?´ section of this site
- Creating a personal home page on NHS Evidence to register for My Evidence and subscribing to the 'Eyes on Evidence' monthly update.
We also produce a monthly Update for Primary Care print newsletter which contains news stories summarising the latest NICE recommendations for GPs, as well as listing all the upcoming guidance for primary care.
You could also consider downloading the NICE Evidence Services search bar onto your practice intranet or practice website.
"The approval by NICE of the use of the diabetes drug liraglutide is a very welcome development for GPs. Controlling hyperglycaemia and its indicators is not easy, so the addition of liraglutide to our formulary will be welcome by patients and will go a long way to helping us achieve our patients glycaemic goals."
Berkshire GP Dr George Kassianos
Key pieces of guidance should be raised once a month at the practice meeting so that the whole team, including the nurses and administrative staff, can be made aware of the guidance.
NICE produces PowerPoint slide sets for many pieces of guidance which you can use to save time and improve communication. You can edit the slides to make them relevant for your practice meetings.
Discussing our guidance at your practice meeting can help you to:
- coordinate delivery across the team
- explore workload, financial or other changes that may be needed
- share ideas on the best ways to follow NICE guidance and to express any concerns
- agree how outcomes can be measured.
What does it mean for your practice?
How relevant or important the guidance and individual recommendations will be for your practice, will depend on your local population and their differing needs
For example, if you practice in an area with above average numbers of travellers, or refugees, significant ethnic minority population or people from disadvantaged backgrounds, all of whom are less likely to get their children vaccinated, then look to the NICE Public Health guidance on reducing differences in the uptake of immunisations.
For each piece of guidance it is useful to appoint a clinical lead to action any changes needed to deliver high-quality patient care in line with recommendations.
NICE provides additional support tools to help you to identify what needs to be changed. The Baseline Assessment Tool (published for all new Clinical Guidelines after March 2010) can help you to identify which recommendations apply to your practice, whether your practice already complies with the recommendations, and where changes need to be made, and the Implementation Advice is tailored to focus on those areas where change is most likely to be necessary.
For other tools from NICE to help you to put our guidance into practice, see the implementation Tools pages of our website.
If the baseline assessment shows that you need to make changes in you practice, use a simple action plan (you can download a template here), to identify what changes need to be made, who will make the changes and by when.
The action plans can be reviewed at future practice meetings to make sure that everything is moving ahead as planned.
You might want to conduct a clinical audit, or simply to check that, for example, a template has been amended, a call and recall system set up, or a new procedure introduced.
Keep the checking in proportion to the problem, but bear in mind that your commissioners will want to see some evidence that NICE guidance is being followed, so discuss with them what they are expecting to see.
This page was last updated: 22 November 2013