Last updated on 3rd July 2008
The UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is "the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health." NICE guidance applies particularly to England and Wales, but the opinions they come to are very carefully weighed up and can be of use to health professionals wherever they work. An 18 page downloadable booklet gives much more detail of NICE's work (see below).
NICE produces guidance in three areas of health:
- public health - guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention of ill health for those working in the NHS, local authorities and the wider public and voluntary sector
- health technologies - guidance on the use of new and existing medicines, treatments and procedures within the NHS
- clinical practice - guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS.
New publications emerge every month. February's offerings were particularly plentiful and included clinical guidelines on the treatment of both Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Osteoarthritis amongst others (see below). You can search the guidelines in 21 clinical areas. One of these areas is "Mental health and behavioural conditions" with completed guidelines on 14 topics including depression (both for adults and for young people), anxiety, antenatal and postnatal health, OCD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, self-harm, eating disorders, and more.
A guide to NICE - 18 page PDF booklet at http://www.nice.org.uk/media/EE5/AF/A_Guide_to_NICE_April2005.pdf Accessed March 24, 2008.
NICE guideline on Irritable Bowel Syndrome at http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/index.jsp?action=byID&o=11927 Accessed March 24, 2008.
NICE guideline on Osteoarthritis at http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/index.jsp?action=byID&o=11926 Accessed March 24, 2008.
NICE guidelines on "Mental health and behavioural conditions" at http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/index.jsp?action=byTopic&o=7281&set=true Accessed March 24, 2008.