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Update for Primary Care

Our latest primary care news and guidance.
December 2021
COVID-19News | Clinical knowledge summaries | Into practice | Announcements | Get involved


Updates to managing COVID-19 guideline

We have added new recommendations and updated existing recommendations to our rapid guideline on managing COVID-19. These cover:

We are continuously updating our COVID-19 guidelines to incorporate the latest evidence and keep abreast of new developments in diagnosing and treating COVID-19. We’ll highlight recent updates in this monthly email communication, or you can keep up to date on the latest live changes through our website.


Sam Roberts

New chief executive for NICE

Dr Samantha Roberts has been announced as NICE's new chief executive. Dr Roberts is a qualified doctor with over 20 years’ experience of healthcare. Her previous roles include director of innovation, research and life sciences at NHS England and chief executive of the Accelerated Access Collaborative. Dr Roberts will take up her role on 1 February 2022.

Health consultant examining x-rays of a spine.

Draft guidance recommends new treatment for spinal muscular atrophy

Around 1,500 people in England, affected by this rare genetic disorder, are set to benefit from risdiplam as part of a managed access agreement (MAA) agreed by NHS England and the manufacturer, Roche. The MAA will allow people to access risdiplam within the NHS while more data is collected on it. We will then decide whether or not to recommend it for routine use on the NHS and update the guidance accordingly.

Young person listening to therapist

NICE recommends menu of treatment options for people with depression

Our updated draft guideline on the treatment and management of depression in adults explains that patients should make an informed choice on which treatment option is right for them. People with less severe depression could choose counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, exercise or psychotherapy. A range of similar psychological interventions, along with the option of antidepressant medication, are also available for more severe depression. Consultation is open until Wednesday 12 January 2022.

Catch up on all our latest news articles
NICE Talks logo

2021 – a year in review

In this episode of our NICE Talks podcast, we speak with Professor Gillian Leng, our chief executive, and Dr Mark Kroese, chair of our diagnostics advisory committee. They reflect on the past year and look forward to 2022.

Clinical knowledge summaries

New topics and updates on the site since the start of November include:

  • Coronavirus – COVID-19. The section on managing the long-term effects of COVID-19 has been updated in line with NICE’s recently updated COVID-19  rapid guideline on managing the long-term effects of COVID-19.
  • Antenatal care – uncomplicated pregnancy. This topic has been updated in line with the new NICE guideline on antenatal care.
  • Male pattern hair loss (male androgenetic alopecia). This is the new CKS topic title for alopecia, androgenetic – male.
  • Otitis externa. The prescribing information section has been updated, and information on oral flucloxacillin and clarithromycin has been removed. In line with current evidence, oral antibiotics are not routinely needed in primary care for the management of uncomplicated acute otitis externa.
Our CKS provide primary care practitioners with a readily accessible summary of the evidence base and best practice guidance for over 370 topics. These cover over 1,000 clinical presentations or patient scenarios, free to access in the UK.

Into practice

Annual cardiovascular disease (CVD) audit report published

The NHS Benchmarking Network and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities have published the first CVDPREVENT annual audit report. The report measures performance against NICE guidelines. It aims to support the primary care sector in understanding how many people with CVD or conditions that lead to a higher risk of developing CVD, are potentially undiagnosed, undertreated or overtreated.
They’ve also published a CVDPREVENT data and improvement tool. The tool provides open access to routinely held GP data, with clear, actionable insights for those tasked with improving cardiovascular health in England.

Access CVD report, data and improvement tool


Withdrawal of NICE pathways

NICE Pathways will not be updated after 31 December 2021. This service will be withdrawn in spring 2022. We are withdrawing the service to focus our resources on providing dynamic, living guideline recommendations.

Using our learning from Pathways, we will create and maintain up-to-date guidance that integrates the latest evidence, practice and technologies in one useful and useable format.

From 1 January 2022 the content in Pathways will not reflect our latest recommendations. For up to date guidance and advice, visit

Evidence search service closure

NICE Evidence search will close on 31 March 2022.

This decision has been taken after reviewing the wide range of services we currently provide, so that we can focus on delivering the priorities outlined in our 5-year strategy.

If you have any queries, please contact

Get involved

Comment on a consultation

Our current consultations include:

Consultation is a key part of our guidance development process. It enables those with an interest in our guidance to comment at specific stages and feedback into the decision-making process.
See all our open consultations

Join a committee

We’re looking for health care professionals, including a pharmacist, GP and health visitor, to join our:

Our guidance and quality standards are developed by independent committees. Join us and have an active role in producing a guideline or quality standard.
See all our committee vacancies

Observe a meeting

We’re currently holding all our public meetings virtually. You'll need to register in advance to join. 

Upcoming public meeting:

  • Tuesday 11 January 2022 – Quality standards committee 2
    Registration closes Tuesday 4 January 2022.
    Agenda and register
Our advisory committee meetings, technology appraisal appeal hearings and public board meetings are open to the public. Holding them in public supports our commitment to having processes in place that are rigorous, open, and transparent.
See all our public meetings

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