National Institiue for Health and Clinical Excellence

Annual Review - 2009/2010

NHS Evidence plays a vital role in making high quality, easily accessible information available to health professionals to improve patient care

Easy access to high quality evidence-based information

NHS Evidence is a service that enables access to authoritative clinical and non-clinical evidence and best practice through a web-based portal. It was launched in 2009 to help people from across the NHS, public health and social care sectors make better decisions by providing them with easy access to high quality evidence-based information.

Earlier this year, NHS Evidence launched a new and improved service which includes a greater focus on medicines information. Users can access the British National Formulary as well as key resources collated by the National electronic Library for Medicines, the electronic Medicines Compendium and products developed by the National Prescribing Centre.

The new service includes access to clinical topic pages providing the latest guidelines, high quality patient information, research uncertainties and other selected information across a wide range of conditions.

The NHS Evidence Accreditation Scheme supports staff in recognising which sources of guidance can help them deliver the highest standards of care. In 2010/11, 15 guidance producers succeeded in gaining accreditation and the first applications were received from a range of international guidance producers, including The Joanna Briggs Institute in Australia. Work has been underway to expand the scope of the scheme to include commissioning and social care information and to assess the clinical content of decision support systems.

NHS Evidence took responsibility for hosting the QIPP (Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention) collection, which includes access to a database of best practice examples to help staff meet the efficiency challenge. Over 2010/11, around 30 QIPP case studies were evaluated, bringing the total number of submissions included in the database to over 100. If the examples were adopted by 50% of eligible organisations, they would save the NHS over £700 million.

NHS Evidence attracts over half a million unique visitors each month. Within healthcare, 90% of users believe NHS Evidence can help them find the most up to date information.

Helen Nuttall, a pharmacy student

The NHS Evidence Student Champion Scheme recruits and trains health and medical students to deliver group learning sessions about the service to their peers. Helen Nuttall - a pharmacy student at the University of Huddersfield – talks about her experience as a champion.

“I believe it is vital for all future health professionals to become familiar with accessing evidence-based information at an early stage.

“As one of four champions selected from the school of pharmacy, I have been responsible for delivering presentations to my peers on how to use NHS Evidence to search for information– whether this is a systematic review for an assignment or a piece of guidance to inform a care decision whilst on placement.

“To prepare for my role, I received training sessions which included techniques to deliver effective group learning. I’m proud that I have now presented NHS Evidence to my year group on a number of occasions, always ensuring that sessions cover topics they are studying on the curriculum.

“My involvement in the scheme will be a key talking point when I meet with potential employers. As well as gaining valuable teaching experience, it has given me a unique opportunity to understand the internal workings of NICE and encouraged me to engage with the organisation at a high level after I qualify.”

*With thanks to Dr Mahendra Patel, who supported the NHS Evidence Student Champion Scheme pilot.