Our role

Our guidelines make evidence based, best practice recommendations. These help to improve patient safety and reduce the risk of harm across the health system.

Our Interventional Procedures Programme has a focus on patient safety and considers if procedures are both safe and work well enough for use.

Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety (IMMDS) Review

The IMMDS review was published in July 2020. It examined the english healthcare system's response to reports of harm caused by specific medicines and procedures. These were:

  • Primados, a hormonal pregnancy test
  • sodium valproate in pregnancy
  • surgical mesh for pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.

The review also made some general recommendations on improving patient safety. It reinforced the importance of monitoring implementaton of guidance. This makes sure clinical practice is in line with agreed best practice. Following our guidance on surgical mesh for pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence more closely could have avoided much of the harm to patients.

Future priorities

To strengthen NICE's contribution to patient safety, our board has agreed that we should:

  • Review our guidance on urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Establish a project group to oversee our response to the specific recommendations of the IMMDS review and assess our patient safety activity.
  • Consider how we might oversee the production of one collaboratively produced patient decision aid for each surgical procedure or medical intervention.
  • Work with NHSX and other organisations to create clinical outcome databases and registries. This data will help to monitor the safety and efficacy of interventions.
  • Work with regulators and professional organisations to reinforce the use of our guidance.
  • Align our approach with the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework.
  • Make sure we're represented in the national groups that oversee patient safety.
  • Set up a monitoring and response system to review safety issues reported to us.
  • Develop a patient safety policy to summarise our approach and make sure procedures are understood across the organisation.

How NICE is improving patient safety

Read the blog post from Professor Kevin Harris, NICE's senior responsible officer for patient safety.