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Update for Primary Care

Our latest primary care news and guidance.
October 2021
News | Clinical knowledge summaries | Events | Get involved


Illustration of sickle cells in a blood vein

First new treatment in 2 decades for sickle cell disease

Our latest draft guidance recommends crizanlizumab as a treatment option for preventing recurrent sickle cell crises in people aged 16 or over. The patient experts our committee heard from explained that fewer vaso-occlusive crises would mean fewer GP visits and hospital admissions, a reduced risk of organ damage, improved mental health and less time off work. More than 300 people are expected to benefit from the treatment in the first year, through a managed access agreement, increasing to more than 450 people in subsequent years.

Shared decision making to highlight the risks of medicines associated with dependence

Our new draft guideline looks at safe prescribing and withdrawal management of medicines associated with dependence or withdrawal symptoms for adults. We are advising GPs, nurses and pharmacists to discuss with patients the risks of prescribing them medicines including opioids, sleeping pills and antidepressants.

NICE announces next steps for publication of guideline on ME/CFS

In the coming days, we will publish the updated guideline on the diagnosis and management of myalgic encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy)/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). The announcement follows a roundtable meeting held last week, involving representatives from a range of patient and professional organisations. The meeting addressed concerns raised about some aspects of the guideline.

Catch up on all our latest news articles
NICE Talks logo

Producing our rapid COVID-19 guidelines and the infodemic

In this month's podcast, we talk to Fiona Glen, NICE programme director, centre for guidelines and David Chandler, chief executive of the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance on how we worked with stakeholders at the start of the pandemic to produce evidence-based rapid guidelines for COVID-19. We discuss how we ensured the guidelines were informed by the best quality evidence and real-world data, and not adversely influenced by the infodemic.

Clinical knowledge summaries

New topics and updates since the start of September include:

  • Angio-oedema and anaphylaxis. Updated in line with the Resuscitation Council UK’s guideline on the emergency treatment of anaphylactic reactions. Recommendations to routinely administer intravenous or intramuscular chlorphenamine and hydrocortisone have been removed.
  • Bunions. The section on assessment has been moved to the diagnosis section to improve clarity and navigation. An extra section on surgical management has been added to the management section.
  • Heart failure – chronic. Advice to add iron studies as part of the assessment of a person with heart failure and to manage comorbidity of hypertension has been added. This is based on the European Society for Cardiology guideline on the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure.
  • Smoking cessation. History of epilepsy has been added to the contraindications and cautions section for nicotine replacement therapy in line with updated manufacturer's summary of product characteristics.
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.


generic picture of a woman looking at a computer screen with headphones on and details of the Zoom event

Attend our next public board meeting

Join us for our next public board meeting on Wednesday 17 November, through Zoom.
Our board meetings are a great opportunity to hear more about the latest developments at NICE.

Register for our public board

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 and social care professionals, including a GP, dietician and care of the elderly physician, 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 meetings:

  • Tuesday 9 November 2021 – Quality standards committee 2 on colorectal cancer
    Registration closes Tuesday 2 November 2021.
    Agenda and register
  • Friday 12 November 2021 – Medical technologies advisory committee on Patch System for treating diabetic foot ulcers
    Registration closes Friday 5 November 2021.
    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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