We expect you to take our guidance into account, but people also have the right to be involved in discussions and make informed decisions about their care, as described in your care.
Recommendations are based on:
- the trade-off between the benefits and harms of an intervention
- the quality of the underpinning evidence.
Some recommendations are made with more certainty than others. We word our recommendations to reflect this. For example we use 'offer' to reflect a strong recommendation, usually where there is clear evidence of benefit. We use 'consider' to reflect a recommendation for which the evidence of benefit is less certain.
Developing NICE guidelines: the manual has detailed information on this.
Shared decision making
We are working with other leading health organisations to encourage discussions between the people receiving and delivering care.Find out more
You should use a medicine's summary of product characteristics when making decisions with patients.
Sometimes a medicine doesn’t have a UK marketing authorisation for a particular condition but we still recommend it. We only do this when there is good evidence for it. If we do recommend this ‘off-label’ use, we mark it with a footnote.
You should follow relevant professional guidance and take full responsibility for the decision.
The patient - or those with authority to give consent on their behalf - should also give informed consent. Make sure you document this.
For more information, see the General Medical Council's prescribing guidance: prescribing unlicensed medicines.
- NHS Constitution for England
- NICE guidance and quality standards on what people should expect from care in the NHS and social care
- NHS outcomes framework 2013–14
- Health and Social Care Act (2012)
- Care Act 2014
- Department of Health and Social Care's advice on getting consent, including advice on consent, children and young people under 16
- the code of practice that accompanies the Mental Capacity Act for when people don’t have capacity to make decisions
- the Department of Health and Social Care's Transition: getting it right for young people for young people moving between child and adult health services
- Department for Education's guidance on Working together to safeguard children
- Public health outcomes framework for England 2016 to 2019
- Care Quality Commission
- NHS England's Accessible Information Standard
When using this guidance, remember that abuse and neglect:
- is common
- may co-exist with health problems or social care needs
- can present anywhere, including in emergency departments and primary care.
Consider or suspect abuse as a contributory factor or cause of an injury in adults at risk.
For more information, see all of our guidance and quality standards on safeguarding.