The merger of four National Collaborating Centres (NCCs) that produce clinical guidelines for the NHS on a wide range of topics (chronic and acute conditions) will create the largest clinical guideline centre in the UK and one of the largest in the world.

Funded by NICE, the National Clinical Guideline Centre (NCGC) is hosted by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and replaces four former NCCs - Acute Conditions (based at the Royal College of Surgeons), Chronic Conditions (based at the RCP), Nursing and Supportive Care (based at the Royal College of Nursing), and Primary Care (based at the Royal College of General Practitioners). The NCGC is a strong collaboration between these four established Royal Colleges, and all contribute to the governance of the new centre.

The NCGC, launched officially on 1 April 2009, is led by the new Chief Operating Officer Dr Ian Bullock, formerly Director of the NCC for Nursing and Supportive Care. The merger aims to create an organisation that will gain an international reputation for developing high quality and clinically relevant guidance.

Fergus Macbeth, Director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE said:

“NICE is internationally known as one of the largest, most productive developers of clinical guidelines in the world, and we recognise the key role of our Collaborating Centres in helping us to gain this recognition. The merging of four NCCs into one centre will provide the flexibility and responsiveness needed to produce clinical guidelines of a consistently high quality. It will allow NICE to continue accessing the highest standards of clinical leadership, project management and methodological input - key elements in producing guidelines that are robust, credible and timely. This will help ensure that the NHS in England and Wales is working to the same evidence-based standards. Most guidelines developed by this centre will describe care for long term conditions delivered across primary and secondary care. We hope these guidelines from a single unit and endorsed by a variety of professional groups will be powerful in changing practice and supporting integration.”

More information can be found here.

Issued: 31 March 2009