National Institiue for Health and Clinical Excellence

Annual Review - 2009/2010

Newly updated COPD guideline tops website hit list

The five most viewed pieces of guidance on the NICE website in 2010/11 were:


In 2010/11 there were a total of 9,943,760 visits to the website - over 1 million more than last year.

The website’s busiest day this year was 23 March 2011, when it received 46,326 visits, coinciding with the publication of 17 new pieces of guidance – including four clinical guidelines, two technology appraisals, seven interventional procedures, two medical technologies and two pieces of public health guidance. 


Ann Horrell, Editorial Adviser

Thinking digital: improving access to guidance online

Ann Horrell, Editorial Adviser from NICE's Publishing team, talks about new initiatives during 2010/11 making it easier to view NICE guidance online.

What has changed this year?

"Over the past year we have produced web versions of all our guidance – over 600 guidance topics in total. These new web-friendly formats allow online users to move easily between different sections of the guidance, selecting the parts most relevant to them from a drop-down menu. They can also export these sections to Word or PDF, or even email them to a colleague or friend. Now, all new guidance is available in the new web-friendly format as soon as it is launched: look for the ‘web format’ option online.

"We have also recently launched NICE Pathways, a new online tool that makes it easy to browse all of NICE’s guidance, recommendations, quality standards and support tools on a particular topic, in a simple interactive flowchart. We’ve already published 18 pathways, available through the NICE website and NHS Evidence, on topics ranging from diabetes to neonatal jaundice.

"We've been delighted with the response to the first phase of NICE Pathways. Soon, new public health guidance, clinical guidelines and quality standards will be incorporated into pathways as they are published, and we'll be working through some of our existing guidance too.

Why now?

"Since NICE's formation in 1999, the way people access information online has changed dramatically. At the same time, NICE’s outputs have grown exponentially. These new initiatives mean navigating through our guidance online is much easier. NICE Pathways is especially useful for people who are not used to using NICE guidance. Groups such as transport planners, employers and school governors will be able to quickly find the advice they need."

What’s next?

"We're looking at ways of developing and improving Pathways, including making it possible to print them, and we’re considering a version for use on phones and other mobile devices. 

"We'll continue to ensure web-friendly versions are available for all newly published guidance. We’ll also be improving the options for searching and exporting our recommendations so that visitors to the NICE website or NHS Evidence can take away a tailored collection of guidance that suits their needs."