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NHS Evidence calls for guidance accreditation

NHS Evidence has issued a call to producers of healthcare guidance to sign up to its accreditation scheme

NHS Evidence, the NHS body responsibly for providing access to health and social care information from a range of databases, has issued a call to producers of healthcare guidance to sign up to its accreditation scheme.

Dr Gillian Leng, chief operating officer of NHS Evidence said: "The bar for accreditation is set high and not all organisations are able to demonstrate that they meet the strict and rigorous criteria.

"However, regardless of whether accreditation is awarded, the advisory committee's role is to advise organisations on steps they can take to strengthen their processes. For guidance producers and the health and social care professionals who are relying on guidance to deliver care, this can only be a good thing."

Set up in autumn 2009, the scheme offers an Accreditation Mark to organisations who produce health or social care guidance that pass the NHS Evidence criteria for producing high-quality information.

The criteria is based on the internationally recognised Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation (AGREE), with each set of guidance assessed and analysed by an independent advisory committee comprised of specialists in the healthcare field.

So far, 11 guidance producers have been accredited, including the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. The National Patient Safety Agency and the Royal College of Midwives are currently awaiting a decision on their suitability for accreditation.

As reported in Eyes on Evidence, the monthly e-bulletin from NHS Evidence, Leng, acknowledged the difficulty of knowing what is the 'best evidence' when multiple guidelines are on offer during a round table discussion.

In the same debate, Leng outlined her full hopes the NHS Evidence and its use in championing guidance: "My vision is that NHS Evidence will become the routine and regular source of information for clinicians and commissioners, embedded into local IT systems and easy to access."

NHS Evidence was launched in April 2009 offering access to clinical and non-clinical evidence.

29th June 2010

From: Healthcare

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