Evidence database accredits 20% of guidelines

Guidance from branches of NICE and SIGN handed reliability kitemark by NHS Evidence website.

One in five guidelines accessi-ble through the NHS Evidence website now carries the site's accreditation kitemark.

Three organisations won accreditation this week from NHS Evidence, the NHS's clinical evidence website - NICE's centre for clinical practice (CCP), its centre for health technology evaluation (CHTE) of single technology appraisals, and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN).

The NHS Evidence accreditation logo will now appear next to these organisations' guidelines in search returns on the website.

However, reports on CCP and CHTE applications for accreditation suggest that the NICE review process could be more transparent about the methods used in guideline appraisal. NHS Evidence also said that SIGN needs to be more consistent in the way it implements guideline development processes. Guidance produced by these organisations makes up over 20 per cent of the 9,407 guidelines on NHS Evidence.

However, the proportion of guidelines listed on the website that come from bodies such as NICE and SIGN may eventually rise much higher than this.

Organisations producing a large number of guidelines are more likely to have rigorous review processes of the sort needed for accreditation, NHS Evidence has suggested.

The bar is expected to be set high for accreditation and NHS Evidence has suggested only about one in three organisations will meet the standards it sets.

It expects half of the guide-lines accessible through the website to have been assessed for accreditation by next autumn.

NHS Evidence chief execu-tive Dr Gillian Leng said: 'I would like to congratulate SIGN, NICE CCP and NICE CHTE on achieving NHS Evidence accreditation. This seal of approval gives staff confidence in the quality of information provided and reassurance that using this guidance will help them deliver good patient care.'

The NHS Evidence website was launched in April and aims to allow GPs to identify the best clinical evidence by sorting, sifting and prioritising a range of information.

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