Shared learning database

Type and Title of Submission


'NICE Bites' prescribing bulletin.


This submission describes the development of a bulletin entitled 'NICE Bites' for healthcare professionals involved in prescribing.



Does the submission relate to the general implementation of all NICE guidance?


Does the submission relate to the implementation of a specific piece of NICE guidance?


Full title of NICE guidance:


Category(s) that most closely reflects the nature of the submission:

Is the submission industry-sponsored in any way?


Description of submission


To provide healthcare professionals with a clear, concise summary of key prescribing points taken from NICE guidance in the format of a two page A4 bulletin entitled 'NICE Bites' (see supporting material). This project emerged from collaboration with colleagues in primary care in response to a need for easily accessible information at the point of prescribing.


1) To facilitate implementation of NICE guidance and promote best practice by providing easily accessible information on the key prescribing recommendations from NICE guidance.


The North West Medicines Information centre provides medicines information services to healthcare professionals across the North West. A key part of our service is the publication of documents to support prescribers both locally and nationally through the UK Medicines Information (UKMi) network. This project originated from a request by a local senior commissioning pharmacist for assistance in incorporating key prescribing points from published NICE guidance into the formulary for their local Health Economy. Initial discussions highlighted the need for easily accessible information and it was recognised that this might be useful across the North West Strategic Health Authority. The preferred format for this information was an electronic bulletin consisting of two sides of A4, to be published monthly for distribution to healthcare professionals involved in prescribing. The bulletin would include key prescribing recommendations and signpost readers to full NICE guidance for each topic. This bulletin would then be cascaded to prescribers within both primary and secondary care and sent out in PDF and Word format to enable incorporation into local formularies.


1) An initial draft was compiled and circulated to Heads of Medicines Management and received an overwhelming positive response. 2) A proposed work schedule was developed to prioritise topics for inclusion covering Clinical guidelines and Technology Appraisals. As far as possible topics to be included should be current i.e. within one month after NICE guidance is issued. 3) To ensure accuracy, clarity and consistency a writing guide was compiled and standard operating procedures set up in accordance with UKMi recommendations for clinical governance. 3) In January 2009 the first edition of NICE Bites was published. This was circulated to the following groups: Chief pharmacists, local and regional Medicines Information pharmacists, PCT pharmacists, Senior Medicines Management pharmacists, Community pharmacists and NICE implementation pharmacists. 4) In March 2009 in cooperation with UKMi, NICE Bites became available online at 5) NICE Bites is being used locally and nationally to facilitate NICE implementation. Anecdotally: a local PCT is including it in their prescribing newsletter, others are cascading it to prescribing leads and one GP was prompted to start an audit on prescribing of glucosamine.

Results and evaluation

The initial response to NICE Bites has been very positive. Although it is difficult to assess the impact on practice at this stage a questionnaire survey is planned for 2010 to evaluate the usefulness of this publication and any impact on prescribing. In the meantime we are pursuing opportunities to promote this publication locally. Attendance at a local committee of Prescribing Leads led to the agreement to use this publication to disseminate information to prescribers and to facilitate monthly appraisals of local implementation of NICE guidance.

Key learning points

1) NICE Bites needs to cover guidance in the month following publication to be most useful to prescribers. 2) Specialist input can be useful to provide advice on key changes in practice and any particular implications on service provision as a result of NICE recommendations. 3) We rely on pharmacist colleagues to cascade NICE Bites to prescribers. Attendance at a local committee of Prescribing Leads highlighted the benefit of promoting the publication directly to prescribers.

View the supporting material

Contact Details

Name:Lindsay Banks
Job Title:Medicines Information Pharmacist
Organisation:North West Medicines Information Centre
Address:70 Pembroke Place
Postcode:L69 3GF
Phone:0151 794 8115
Fax:0151 794 8118


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This page was last updated: 18 June 2009

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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.