National Institiue for Health and Clinical Excellence

Annual Review - 2012/2013

Engaging with our audiences

Our guidance affects a broad range of people and professionals within the health and social care sector. Over the past year, we have carried out various activities to ensure we both engage and interact with the diverse people affected by our guidance.

In May 2012, we held the 12th NICE Annual Conference. It was attended by more than 1,200 delegates over two days, and featured over 70 speakers including the then Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, and the Chair of the new NHS Commissioning Board, Professor Malcolm Grant. Following feedback from the 2011 event, the 2012 Conference included an entire stream dedicated to the practicalities of putting guidance into practice locally, and more Shared Learning presentations from our Shared Learning awards entrants.

In November 2012, we hosted a live interactive web seminar, focussing on how NICE is to support organisations in the new commissioning structure. Registered participants were able to ask questions to the panel, which consisted of members from NICE and representatives from clinical commissioning groups.

Over the course of the year, members of staff from NICE have spoken at more than 30 events and conferences. These have ranged in size from large national events such as the Health and Wellbeing at Work Conference, to smaller events focussing on specific health and social care areas.

We have also exhibited at a range of events over the past year, and our NICE stand has been used to promote NICE guidance as a tool for ensuring best quality care among healthcare professionals and commissioners.

Communicating with our audiences digitally

Our website provides information about all of our work programmes, including free access to all NICE guidance and implementation tools to help people put our recommendations into practice. This year, the site received more than 10.9 million visits.

Recently updated, the site makes it easier than ever to search for guidance, and integrates digital developments such as NICE Pathways and the guidance web viewer. Work is currently being carried to optimise the site for use on mobile devices and tablets.

Latest news and comment

Our website features all the latest news and comment pieces from NICE. Over the past year we have published more than 100 news stories and features on topics ranging from encouraging physical activity to the overuse of antibiotics.

We publish two monthly newsletters that higlight all the latest news and developments from NICE. NICE News has more than 60,000 subscribers and provides direct access to our features, news stories, consultations, and implementation advice. Update for Primary Care is aimed at GPs and others working in primary care, and reaches an audience of more than 10,000. It features guidance, quality standards and other advice products published that month relevant to primary care, along with any accompanying tools to help put guidance into practice.

Our news podcasts provide context to the issues surrounding our guidance, and feature interviews with clinicians and experts discussing our products.

Conferences, exhibitions and speaking engagements

The NICE events team attended 39 exhibitions during 2012/13, ranging from large national conferences such as the NHS Confederation and the Royal College of Midwives, to smaller regional events focused on specific clinical conditions. On our stand at these events we promoted the use of NICE guidance as a tool for ensuring the highest quality patient care amongst frontline clinicians, managers and commissioners.

Engaging with the public

In 2012/13 our enquiry handling team responded to over 12,000 calls, emails and letters on a range of topics, including how we make recommendations and our new work programmes. The vast majority (42 per cent) came from healthcare professionals and members of the public (28 per cent). The rest came from Members of Parliament, pharmaceutical industries and manufacturers, patient groups, charities, local authorities and educational institutions. Over the past year, a growing number of calls have also been received from international audiences.

Breaking news

During 2012/13 our press office sent out 170 press releases and recorded more than 3,700 pieces of relevant UK media coverage for NICE, of which almost 90 per cent were positive in tone.

Major stories for NICE over the past year have included our clinical guideline on the management of headaches, public health guidance on walking and cycling and our updated clinical guideline on fertility.

Coverage for the fertility guideline received 70 pieces of media coverage alone, and featured in news pieces run the BBC, Sky News and ITV.


Our twitter feed @NICEcomms keeps you up to date with all our latest news and guidance from NICE. In the past year, we have doubled the number of followers to more than 28,000.

It is now easier than ever to search for guidance on our website, which incorporates new developments such as NICE Pathways and the web viewer