What are clinical guidelines?
Clinical guidelines aim to help health professionals and patients make the best decisions about treatment or care for a particular condition or situation. Authors review the research literature and take advice from experts to include the current evidence on which to base their guidelines recomendations. Doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are encouraged to follow clinical guidelines where appropriate.
Where can I find guidelines:
Patient UK at http://www.patient.co.uk/guidelines.asp
Who writes clinical guidelines for the UK?
Here are some of the main UK organisations involved in publishing guidelines:
- NICE – National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
- SIGN – Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network
- GAIN – Guidelines and Audit Implementation Network
- CKS – Clinical Knowledge Summaries (formerly Prodigy)
- Professional Organisations and Royal Colleges
For further information on guidelines, see the BMJ’s series of articles: