NICE and Cochrane collaborate on ‘living’ recommendations for NHS and patients  

NICE and Cochrane collaborate on ‘living’ recommendations for NHS and patients

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Cochrane have signed a collaborative agreement which will help to deliver ‘living’ recommendations across the NICE guideline portfolio.

The agreement will mean that the NHS and patients will benefit from a collaborative process which will enable NICE to better use Cochrane reviews in responding to changes in the evidence. The partnership will allow NICE to make efficient and effective updates to the recommendations in its guidelines.

The announcement follows the recent publication of NICE’s new 5-year strategy which commits it to finding more flexible and faster ways of working.

One of the keys aims to the strategy is to provide dynamic, living guideline recommendations that are useful, useable and rapidly updated.

Cochrane has a long-established relationship with the NHS and receives a large proportion of its funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and their systematic reviews of health evidence are already used to inform NICE guidelines.

Professor Gillian Leng, Chief Executive at NICE said: “I am delighted to have signed a collaborative agreement with Cochrane. Cochrane has a well-established reputation for producing high quality systematic reviews which take into account the very latest evidence. This agreement will help us to increase efficiency across our guideline portfolio and will help to deliver tangible benefits for people using the health service as well as clinicians who will get earlier access to NICE’s recommendations.

“While the last 15 months has been incredibly difficult for all of us working in the health service, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that we must continue to build on the collaborative working relationships we have established. This announcement demonstrates NICE’s commitment to finding more flexible and effective ways of working which will help to deliver better health outcomes for us all.”

Dr Karla Soares-Weiser, Editor in Chief of the Cochrane Library, said: “This agreement has collaborative benefits for all involved. NICE will get the findings of Cochrane Reviews to use in their deliberations, Cochrane groups will be able to respond by producing high priority reviews, and for Cochrane review authors, it guarantees impact.

“Ultimately, however, the beneficiaries will be people who need evidence to make decisions about their health or that of someone else, and this supports that happening in a timely way.”