National Institiue for Health and Clinical Excellence

Annual Review - 2009/2010

Over 50,000 NICE online learning modules were completed this year

Making the most of NICE guidance

It is important for patients and the public that the guidance we produce is put into practice consistently and effectively. Our Implementation team supports the people and organisations whose responsibility it is to ensure NICE guidance is used.

Commissioning guides – one part of the team’s work – aim to help local commissioners provide the right level of service appropriate to the needs of people in their area. This year, all of NICE’s commissioning guides were converted into an electronic format so that they are now fully interactive and easy to use locally.

The team produced seven commissioning guides in 2010/11. Among these was ‘biologic drugs for the treatment of inflammatory disease in rheumatology, dermatology and gastroenterology’, which was produced in response to calls from commissioners.

Whenever guidance is produced, the team assesses the impact this is likely to have on practice and works with key partners who can support its implementation. It also develops a range of tools to support the use of guidance, which now features clinical case scenarios and podcasts.

Uptake has been encouraging. For example, more than one in five of those downloading the SeQuent Please medical technologies guidance also listened to the related podcast which addresses the major barriers to implementation.

Our team of seven implementation consultants act as the local face of NICE. As well as helping people get the most out of NICE guidance and support, the team provides valuable feedback on how we can make NICE guidance even easier for people to work with. In 2010/11, the team made 952 visits, of which 730 were to primary care trusts and NHS trusts, 159 to local councils and 63 to networks and other organisations.

We also encourage good practice and promote creative ways in which NICE guidance has been employed. The NICE shared learning database is a platform for organisations to reveal the innovative ways they have overcome problems in implementing our guidance.

NICE ways of learning

NICE launched online learning modules aimed at helping healthcare professionals improve their knowledge of key clinical areas in 2005.

Over 50,000 of these modules were completed by users this year, in subjects ranging from tuberculosis to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

NICE’s first collaborative online learning module with Nursing Times was launched in March 2011. Dealing with the inpatient management of diabetic foot problems, the module has become a popular addition to NICE’s education programme.

In 2010, the team launched a programme aimed at increasing the understanding of NICE’s activities, the principles behind developing evidence-based guidance, and the benefits of using NHS Evidence in undergraduate education. With support from NICE Implementation Consultants, the majority of medical and pharmacy schools across England and Wales have now been visited.

But the learning is not all online. A package has been developed, in collaboration with the University of Leeds, to help midwives, health visitors and social workers enhance their skills in raising sensitive issues with pregnant women.

User feedback on the NICE/BMJ Learning Module for metastatic malignant disease of unknown primary origin:

"Very interesting module. It was something I knew very little about and it has not only increased my awareness, but also helped me develop strategies to manage and counsel patients in this situation."

"Excellent review of a difficult subject."