GPs and patients must choose when to ignore NICE advice, says Haslam

NICE guidance 'may not be appropriate' for every patient, and it is important that GPs talk through treatment options with patients, NICE chairman Professor David Haslam has said.

Speaking at the NICE annual conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Professor Haslam told delegates that although NICE guidance represents the ‘gold standard’ of treatment, it is not meant to be prescriptive and should not replace a doctor’s clinical judgment.

He said the health and social care system in the UK had changed ‘significantly’ since NICE was founded in 1999. Doctors of today are facing new challenges as multimorbidity and long-term conditions become rife in the population, he said.

NICE will play a pivotal role in helping doctors tackle these issues, with new guidance on multimorbidity due next year.

Professor Haslam said: ‘NICE guidelines give a population-level steer on what the most clinically and cost-effective ways are to treat different diseases and conditions. Nationally, the guidance helps the NHS make sure that it’s getting the best value for taxpayers’ money.

NICE GP guidance

‘But it is essential to remember that on an individual level, our recommendations might not always be appropriate for individual patients. The guidance is not intended to replace a doctor’s clinical judgment or the joint decisions they make with their patients about their specific and individual needs.

‘Our job at NICE is to ensure clinicians and social care professionals are supported to give the very best care to people.

‘Equally we understand that each discussion between a patient and their clinician is unique.

‘NICE guidance is a gold-standard which professionals should take very seriously. But the role of the clinician is to interpret our guidance together with their training and experience in the interests of the patient before them.’

Photo: JH Lancy

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

GP Job of the Week: Lead GP, urgent care centre, east London

GP Job of the Week: Lead GP, urgent care centre, east London

Greenbrook Healthcare is looking to appoint a lead GP to its clinical leadership...

NHS England says it will avoid top-down approach to PCNs

NHS England says it will avoid top-down approach to PCNs

NHS England will not issue national guidance to primary care networks (PCNs) about...

Capita admits to further cervical screening administration errors

Capita admits to further cervical screening administration errors

The BMA has again demanded that Capita be stripped of its contract to provide GP...

GPC Wales appoints new chair

GPC Wales appoints new chair

Dr Phil White has been appointed the new chair of GPC Wales.

Nine in 10 GPs say appraisal improves patient care

Nine in 10 GPs say appraisal improves patient care

The vast majority of GPs believe annual appraisal helps to improve patient care and...

GPs have a key role to play in helping people back into work

GPs have a key role to play in helping people back into work

Brief interventions by health professionals can help people to achieve their working...