Making decisions using NICE guidelines

People have the right to be able to make informed decisions about their care. Our guidance should be taken into account when making decisions with them.

We're working with other leading health organisations to encourage shared decision making between the people receiving and delivering care.

Prescribing medicines

    When making a decision with people, you should use a medicine's description of its properties and the conditions attached to its use.

    Sometimes we still recommend a medicine even if it does not have a UK marketing authorisation or there is no licence for a particular condition. For example, we might do this if there is enough evidence or experience of using the medicine for a condition to show its safety and efficacy.

    You should follow relevant professional guidance and take full responsibility for the decision.

    You can find more information on this at:

    Using recommendations

    Our 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. Where there is clear and strong evidence of benefit, we will use the word 'offer'. Where the benefit is less certain we use the word 'consider'.

    For more information take a look at our developing NICE guidelines: the manual.


      The government has produced statutory guidance that must be followed. This is in both adult safeguarding and the safeguarding of children and young people.

      Remember that abuse and neglect:

      • is common
      • may also exist alongside other health problems or social care needs
      • can happen anywhere, including in emergency departments and primary care.

      Consider or suspect abuse as a contributory factor or cause of an injury in adults or children at risk.

      Our guidance and quality standards on safeguarding will provide you with more information.

      Professional guidelines, standards and laws

      There are laws and professional standards that should be followed when making decisions. We have complied a list of organisations and key information which may help you.