National Institiue for Health and Clinical Excellence

Annual Review - 2012/2013
NHS evidence

Providing a forum for evidence and best practice

The suite of NHS Evidence services was launched in 2009 to provide rapid access to authoritative clinical and non-clinical evidence and best practice through a web-based portal. It helps people from across the NHS, public health and social care make better decisions by providing them with easy access to high quality evidence-based information.

In 2012, the Department of Health asked NICE to take responsibility for the delivery of the National electronic Library for Medicines (NeLM) with the aim of integrating this service into the functionality of NHS Evidence to create a single access point for high quality medicines information. This would avoid duplication and remove the need to run a separate medicines information specific website.

Throughout the year, NICE worked with UKMI to bring medicines information together and ensure the smooth transition of NeLM into NHS Evidence from 1 April 2013.

In 2012, NICE also undertook a significant procurement exercise to re-procure the Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS) service for use in primary care. This service provide by NICE will give primary care practitioners access to easy to use summaries of the current evidence base and practical guidance on best practice in over 300 common and/or significant primary care presentations.

Work was undertaken by NICE to establish a new national NICE Electronic and Print Procurement Framework. This framework enables NHS organisations and partner organisations to procure journals and database used at a local level with confidence and without the need to undertake the full competitive tendering process. The service launched in March 2013.

In May 2012, NICE made significant changes to the Heath Database Advance Search (HDAS) functionality on NHS Evidence. The changes we made were designed to enhance users’ experience of HDAS by providing them with a faster and more reliable service that was easier to use by allowing for better navigation between the thesaurus and search screens.

Evidence updates, bulletins and alerts

In 2012/13, NICE continued to help busy professionals stay up-to-date with the latest important new evidence.

Evidence Updates highlight new evidence relating to published accredited guidance. They aim to reduce the need for individuals, managers and commissioners to search for new evidence. Evidence Updates are based on the scope of the particular guidance they relate to and provide a commentary on a selection of new articles published since the guidance was issued and indicate whether the new evidence may have a potential impact on current guidance.

In 2012/13, NICE developed 18 Evidence Updates covering a range of clinical topics and the first public health topic.  Of these, 4 identified new evidence that could have a potential impact on guidance. Within NICE, Evidence Updates are being used to inform the decision on whether or not to update guidance.

The NICE monthly Eyes on Evidence newsletter continues to provide health and social care professional with all the latest interesting new evidence and explanations about what it means for current practice.

NICE also introduced a new monthly Public Health Awareness Bulletin which helps those working public health keep up-to-date with all the latest public health evidence added to the the last month. This may include public health research, guidance, policy or reports from public health organisations, major journals and selected databases.

This year there were more than 10.5 million visits and 33.9 million page views for the suite of NHS Evidence products.

NHS Evidence services can aid decision-making by providing easy access to high-quality evidence-based information