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Update for Primary Care

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


New rapid guideline on rare blood clotting syndrome associated with COVID-19 vaccination

We've published a new COVID-19 rapid guideline on vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (VITT). The guideline aims to help healthcare staff identify and treat patients who develop this rare syndrome after receiving COVID-19 vaccinations.

Read VITT rapid guideline


Man with prosthetic leg and lady in blue medical top walking in rehab ward.
Woman and child in a wheelchair at a table painting a picture.

Rehabilitation after traumatic injury

Effective rehabilitation following traumatic injury can help patients to get back to the best possible level of function and independence. Our draft guideline recommends ways to help people resume their life, whether that involves work, education or activities. Consultation on the draft guideline is open until Wednesday 8 September.

Disabled children and young people with complex needs

Our new draft guideline makes recommendations on how services should work for disabled children and young people up to the age of 25 with severe complex needs. It supports joined up health, social and education services. Consultation on the draft guideline is open until Tuesday 14 September.

Person tipping 2 tablets out of a medicine pot and into their hand.
Pregnant woman holding her bump.

Piloting a new fast track approach for a limited number of technology appraisals 

We are piloting a new fast track approach to the assessment of eligible low-risk treatments. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 we paused production of some of our guidance. Since then, we've been working hard to develop and publish the guidance affected. By using fewer committee members and comparing the technology being appraised to similar therapies that we've already evaluated, our pilot programme is enabling us to make decisions more quickly.

Care throughout pregnancy

Our updated antenatal care guideline offers practical advice on the routine care of women and their babies during pregnancy. It aims to ensure that women are offered regular check-ups, information and support. For the first time, the guideline addresses the role that partners can play in supporting women through their pregnancy. It includes recommendations about how to involve them in antenatal appointments (according to the woman’s preferences) and what information to give. 

Catch up on all our latest news articles
NICE Talks logo

Our proposed changes to health technology evaluation

In this month's podcast, we discuss our health technology evaluation methods, processes and topic selection consultation. We chat with NICE's deputy chief executive and director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, Meindert Boysen, and Victoria Barrett from The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry. They talk about what the proposals mean for patients, the NHS and industry, and whether they go far enough.

Clinical knowledge summaries

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

  • Chest infections – adults. Pulse oximetry thresholds for severity in COVID-19 have been revised from 92% to 91%. This is in line with an update to our COVID-19 rapid guideline.
  • Contraception – barrier methods and spermicides and Contraception – natural family planning. Removed retired Quality and Outcomes Framework indicators.
  • Coronavirus – COVID-19. Added capillary leak syndrome as a contraindication, special warning, and an adverse effect of the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Myocarditis has also been added as a rare adverse effect of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Added eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 12 to 15 years with severe neuro-disabilities.
  • Cough – acute with chest signs in children. Oxygen saturation threshold for admission and referral have been updated in line with our updated guideline on Bronchiolitis in children: diagnosis and management.
  • Diarrhoea – antibiotic associated. Treatment of Clostridium difficile updated to align with our guideline on Clostridioides difficile infection: antimicrobial prescribing.
  • Pancreatitis – acute. Updated in line with current evidence. A new section on the follow up of confirmed acute pancreatitis has been added to the 'Scenario: Management of acute pancreatitis' section. 
  • Scrotal pain and swelling. Added additional information on managing possible adverse effects of fluoroquinolones.
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 1,000 clinical presentations or patient scenarios, free to access in the UK.

Into practice

Improving outcomes for cardiovascular disease

The Accelerated Access Collaborative’s lipid management rapid uptake product working group has developed 2 NICE-endorsed clinical pathways:

The pathways encourage adherence to national guidance for optimal management of patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease. They include 4 classes of medicines:
  • high-intensity statins
  • ezetimibe
  • bempedoic acid
  • PCSK9 inhibitors.

All these medicines reduce LDL and non-HDL cholesterol. They’ve been clinically proven to reduce the risk of patients suffering a cardiovascular event. For further information please consult the Academic Health Science Networks’ Rapid uptake products – technical note 2021/22.

Summary of antimicrobial prescribing guidance: managing common infections

Our summary of antimicrobial prescribing guidance is a rapid reference table designed to assist health professionals when managing common infections. It contains recommendations from both NICE and Public Health England. This popular document, which was previously available on our website, is now hosted on the British National Formulary site. We hope you continue to find this resource helpful in your practice.

Read summary of antimicrobial prescribing guidance


Innovation in medicines: adapting for the future

The King's Fund is holding a free virtual event:

  • Innovation in medicines: adapting for the future, Tuesday 21 September 2021, 2pm to 3pm. 

NICE chairman, Sharmila Nebhrajani, is speaking at the event. She will discuss our role in the future of innovation within research, medicines and the NHS.

Register for your free ticket

Get involved

NICE launches final consultation on proposed changes to health technology evaluation

NICE is changing its approach to health technology evaluation.

A public consultation on our methods, processes and topic selection for health technology evaluation is open until 11:59pm on Wednesday 13 October 2021.

This short animation summarises our proposed changes to health technology evaluation.
A series of virtual events will explain our proposals in more detail:
  • Methods focus, Tuesday 24 August 2021, 4pm to 5pm. 
  • Highly specialised technologies selection criteria focus, Wednesday 1 September 2021, 4pm to 5pm.
  • Process and topic selection proposals, Wednesday 8 September 2021, 1pm to 2pm.
  • Methods review - a focus on modifiers, Thursday 9 September 2021, 2pm to 3pm.
Learn more about our proposals

Help us improve how we write and present our guidance

We are reviewing how we write and present our guidance to ensure it is accessible and clear. We need your help to understand:

  • how you use our recommendations
  • what you want to know about the reasoning and evidence behind our recommendations.

Please take 15 minutes to complete our short survey, which is open until Friday 10 September 2021.

Complete survey
Our initial work is focusing on the type 2 diabetes in adults guideline but you do not need to be an expert in this topic to help shape our future content.

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, social care and other professionals and practitioners to join our:

See all our committee vacancies

Observe a meeting

Due to the pandemic, we're holding all our public meetings virtually. You'll need to register in advance to join. 

Upcoming public meeting:

  • Tuesday 7 September 2021 – Indicator advisory committee
    Registration closes Tuesday 31 August 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


Publication of ME/CFS guideline paused

NICE used its usual rigorous approach to develop an updated guideline on the diagnosis and management of myalgic encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy)/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). However, despite the best efforts of the committee and patient groups, we have not been able to produce a guideline that is supported by all. 

The causes of ME/CFS are still poorly understood and because of this, there are strong views around the management of this debilitating condition. Due to issues raised during the pre-publication period, we need to take time to consider next steps. We will hold conversations with professional and patient stakeholder groups to do this. We need to do this so that the guideline is supported and can be successfully implemented.

Annual report and accounts 2020/21

We’ve published our annual report and accounts. During a year in which the nation faced extraordinary difficulties, our evidence-based information, about what good care looks like and how it can best be delivered, has been more vital than ever.

In this short animation, we outline some of the ways in which we’ve been supporting improved patient access to innovative medicines and technologies during 2020/21.

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