Review decision date: February 2014

Review decision: 

Following consultation with stakeholders this guideline has now been placed on the static list.

Next review date: TBC

The advice in the NICE guideline covers:

  • How milk banks should recruit, screen and support women who donate breast milk
  • How milk banks should handle and process the breast milk they receive from donors.

It does not specifically look at:

  • How donated breast milk is used after it leaves the milk bank
  • The care and treatment of babies who receive donated breast milk
  • How mothers should handle and store breast milk for their own babies.

This guideline was previously called donor milk banks: the operation of donor milk bank services.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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