13 About this guidance

Why has this guidance been produced?

In 2008, the Department of Health (DH) asked the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to produce guidance on how to identify, prevent and reduce domestic violence and abuse. (See the scope.)

The PDG felt that the review did not find sufficient evidence for them to make recommendations on primary and secondary prevention programmes. This was partly because it looked only at health and social care settings and most primary prevention interventions are delivered in education settings.

There were other measures and interventions for which no evidence, or insufficient evidence, was identified. Their absence from the recommendations is a result of this lack of evidence and should not be taken as a judgement on whether they are effective.

Violence and abuse can be perpetrated on children by adults ('child abuse'), but that is not dealt with in this guidance. NICE has produced guidance on child maltreatment.

How was this guidance developed?

This guidance was developed jointly by NICE and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). SCIE provided particular input into discussions about what the guidance should cover.

The recommendations are based on the best available evidence. They were developed by the Programme Development Group (PDG).

Members of the PDG are listed in Membership of the Programme Development Group and the NICE project team.

For information on how NICE public health guidance is developed, see the NICE public health guidance process and methods guides.

What evidence is the guidance based on?

The evidence the PDG considered included:

  • evidence review

  • review of economic evaluations and economic modelling

  • expert reports

  • fieldwork report.

In some cases the evidence was insufficient and the PDG has made recommendations for future research. See Recommendations for research and Gaps in the evidence respectively.

Status of this guidance

The draft guidance, including the recommendations, was released for consultation in August 2013 At its meeting in November 2013, the PDG amended the guidance in light of comments from stakeholders and experts and the fieldwork. The guidance was signed off by the NICE Guidance Executive in February 2014

The guidance is available on NICE's website. The recommendations are also available in a pathway for professionals whose remit includes public health and for interested members of the public.


NICE guidance can help:

  • Commissioners and providers of NHS services to meet the quality requirements of the DH's Operating framework for 2012/13. It can also help them to deliver against domain 1 of the NHS outcomes framework (preventing people from dying prematurely).

  • Local health and wellbeing boards to deliver on their requirements within Healthy lives, healthy people (2010).

  • Local authorities, NHS services and local organisations determine how to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities during the joint strategic needs assessment process.

NICE has developed tools to help organisations put this guidance into practice.

All healthcare professionals should ensure people have a high quality experience of the NHS by following NICE's recommendations in Patient experience in adult NHS services.

All health and social care providers working with people using adult NHS mental health services should follow NICE's recommendations in Service user experience in adult mental health.

Updating the recommendations

This guidance will be reviewed 3 years after publication to determine whether all or part of it should be updated. Information on the progress of any update will be posted on the NICE website.

Your responsibility

This guidance represents the views of the Institute and was arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. Those working in the NHS, local authorities, the wider public, voluntary and community sectors and the private sector should take it into account when carrying out their professional, managerial or voluntary duties.

Implementation of this guidance is the responsibility of local commissioners and/or providers. Commissioners and providers are reminded that it is their responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way which would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.


© National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 2014. All rights reserved. NICE copyright material can be downloaded for private research and study, and may be reproduced for educational and not-for-profit purposes. No reproduction by or for commercial organisations, or for commercial purposes, is allowed without the written permission of NICE.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-0475-4

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)