The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an independent organisation which is responsible for giving national guidance in the UK on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill-health.
NICE guidance is developed using the expertise of the NHS and the wider healthcare community including healthcare professionals, patients and carers, industry and the academic world.
The guidance covers three areas of health:
- Clinical practice – guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS;
- Health technologies – guidance on the use of new and existing medicines, treatments and procedures within the NHS;
- Public health – guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention of ill health for people working in the NHS, local authorities and the wider public and voluntary sectors.
The NICE website – which contains all the guidance – can be found at www.nice.org.uk
Once on the home page a search facility will allow you to access NICE guidance on any health topic. For example, if you type in ‘liver’ you will be able to access the 30 current guidelines relating to the treatment of liver conditions.
An advanced search button can also be used which allows you to tailor a search more closely.
The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN)
The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) develops evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland. SIGN guidelines are derived from a systematic review of the scientific literature and are designed as a vehicle for accelerating the translation of new knowledge into action to meet its aim of reducing variations in practice, and improving patient-important outcomes.