The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance to healthcare professionals and others to make sure that the care they provide is of the best possible quality and offers the best value for money. NICE does this by:
- Producing evidence-based guidance and advice for health, public health and social care practitioners.
- Developing quality standards and performance metrics for those providing and commissioning health, public health and social care services.
- Providing a range of information services for commissioners, practitioners and managers across the spectrum of health and social care.
NICE is accountable to the Department of Health but operates independently of Government.
Their guidance is for the NHS, local authorities, charities, and anyone with a responsibility for commissioning or providing healthcare, public health or social care services. Their guidance and other recommendations are made by independent committees and the NICE board sets the strategic priorities and policies.
NICE guidance is officially England-only but there are agreements in place to provide certain NICE products and services to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Decisions on how their guidance applies in these countries are made by the devolved administrations, who are often involved and consulted with in the development of NICE guidance.
Clinical guidelines on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases or conditions are developed by NICE’s Centre of Clinical Practice (CCP) for people working in the NHS. The directorate of the CCP is also responsible for distributing the British National Formulary (BNF) medicines guide to the NHS.
Note: There are no official NICE guidelines for hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.