Putting recommendations into practice can take time. How long may vary from guideline to guideline, and depends on how much change in practice or services is needed. Implementing change is most effective when aligned with your local priorities.

Changes should be implemented as soon as possible, unless there is a good reason for not doing so (for example, if you could get better value for money from implementing a package of recommendations all at once).

Here are some pointers to help you put our guidelines into practice:

Into practice guide

Provides practical advice on how to use NICE guidance and related quality standards to achieve high-quality care. 

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1. Raise awareness through routine communication channels.

Examples include:

  • email or newsletters
  • regular meetings
  • internal staff briefings
  • other communications with all relevant partner organisations.

Identify things staff can include in their own practice straight away.

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2. Identify a lead with an interest in the topic.

They can champion the guideline and motivate others to support its use, make service changes and find out any significant local issues.

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3. Carry out a baseline assessment against the recommendations.

Use the assessment to find out whether there are gaps in current service provision.

View all of our baseline assessment tools

4. Think about what data you need to measure improvement and plan how you will collect it.

You may want to work with other health and social care organisations and specialist groups to compare current practice with the recommendations. This may also help identify local issues that will slow or prevent implementation.

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5. Develop an action plan with the steps needed to put the guideline into practice. 

Make sure it is ready as soon as possible. Big, complex changes may take longer to implement, but some may be quick and easy to do. An action plan will help in both cases.

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6. For very big changes include milestones and a business case.

Set out additional costs, savings and possible areas for disinvestment. A small project group could develop the action plan. The group might include:

  • the guideline champion
  • a senior organisational sponsor
  • staff involved in the associated services
  • finance and information professionals.

Our return on investment tools and resource impact assessment tools can help you plan for potential costs or savings.

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7. Implement the action plan with oversight from the lead and the project group.

Big projects may also need project management support.

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8. Review and monitor how well the guideline is being implemented through the project group.

Share progress with those involved in making improvements, as well as relevant boards and local partners.