Shared learning database

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
Published date:
May 2014

A comprehensive toolkit to ensure Public Health staff are both contributing to NICE processes and are accessing, reviewing and using authoritative guidance. The toolkit can be implemented in to any organisation interested in accessing NICE evidence reviews etc. and can be easily adapted to fit with different sectors.

Guidance the shared learning relates to:
Does the example relate to a general implementation of all NICE guidance?
Does the example relate to a specific implementation of a specific piece of NICE guidance?


Aims and objectives

The aim of this project was twofold: firstly, to ensure that the Public Health Directorate at of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council access and review authoritative guidance issued by NICE. Secondly, that public health practitioners are encouraged to actively contribute as NICE stakeholders. The project also aimed to find out (over time) how to streamline the process through lessons learned and to implement similar toolkits within other areas of the council and across the Doncaster partnership.

Reasons for implementing your project

Public Health responsibilities formally transferred to a local authority setting in April 2014. It was important to ensure that we had systems to effectively respond to the issue of NICE guidance etc. This project is part of a larger ambition around driving evidence use in a local authority setting

How did you implement the project

To create the standard operating procedure and toolkit I first created a list of all stakeholders involved, who the central point of contact would be and then registered on the NICE website for all the required updates. The team then held a meeting with all Public Health Specialists to notify them of the new procedure and to answer any queries and concerns they had. We review the process continually and collect lessons from everyone involved every quarter. We hold a project and lessons review shortly after this date to decide on what lessons to take forwards etc. There is also a quarterly governance report created to report on all activity arising from NICE communications. This process does not cost the organisation any money and takes up very little time to complete.

Key findings

As the project is still in its infancy we have the opportunity to learn a lot of lessons such as how the checklist forms can be streamlined, how much time staff needs to complete work and which communication/channel of communication the Public Health Specialists find most useful. Currently we have learned to pre-populate the form with guidance recommendations and that it takes on average 3 weeks for specialists to review and complete checklists for new guidance. So far we have found that the invitations to observe committee meetings are of interest to staff but so no one has had the capacity to attend.

The process has not been in place long enough to comment on how quickly changes have been implemented due to NICE updates but we would be more than happy to provide information on this at a later date.

The majority of feedback that we have received regarding this process is that it is a good way of keeping up to date and helps to provide staff with opportunities to actively shape how guidance is created. Some of our comments have been taken on board and acted upon within a sexual health consultation.

Key learning points

- This project would be a great way to introduce an entry level staff member to information management, evidence based research and NICE.
- The toolkit can be adapted to fit any organisation.
- As with most activities connected to changes in culture you will meet some resistance but this can be easily overcome by communicating the benefits of the process and by letting people know that without their contributions and constructive feedback we will not be able to make the process as user friendly as possible.
- It would be helpful to have more people trained in administering the the process so that cover is available for annual leave and sickness.

Contact details

Joanne Shaw
Knowledge Management Project Support Officer
Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

Is the example industry-sponsored in any way?