In the keynote address at Guidelines Live  2021, Dr Paul Chrisp, Director of the NICE Centre for Guidelines, gave further details on NICE’s 5-year strategy to make its guidance more useful and accessible

Doctors meeting technology data

Further details of how NICE will overhaul the way it develops and presents guidance have been revealed by Dr Paul Chrisp, Director of the NICE Centre for Guidelines. 

Presenting the keynote address at Guidelines Live (30 November–1 December 2021; ExCel London), Dr Chrisp told delegates: ‘We want to make it easier for you to use NICE Guidelines. We want to make our guidelines more useful, more usable, and more used.’ 

Under the reforms, NICE will introduce: 

  • living guidelines—guidance that is continually updated to integrate the latest evidence, and reflects new developments such as drugs, medical devices, and technologies 
  • a new, interactive guideline structure with easier access to the underpinning evidence, and more clarity on NICE’s methods 
  • topic suites—groups of connected, high-priority guidelines kept up to date by topic-specific committees, with any gaps filled by good-quality external guideline recommendations 
  • user-focused guidelines that are more relevant, useful, and prescriptive where the evidence supports it 
  • a digital-first approach, enabling the inclusion of tools such as the CHA2DS2VASc Score calculator. 

Dr Chrisp stated that NICE would ‘focus on the areas where we can add the most value and the most impact in those big topic suites and, where we can, also focus on the key priorities—be that recovery from COVID, be that health inequalities.’ 

He said that NICE is exploring how to ‘structure and develop integrated guidance in a way that better meets your needs, and also makes more recommendations better integrated into the core systems that you use in your daily practice’.

Dr Chrisp pointed out that, at the moment, it is ‘humanly impossible’ for healthcare professionals to stay on top of every guidance update. Accessing the relevant information can be like ‘finding a needle in a haystack’, and guidance is not always presented in the best way to answer users’ questions. 

NICE’s 5-year strategy was first announced in April 2021. Diabetes guidance will be the first to adopt the new format, which will debut on the NICE website in March 2022.

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