New portal for clinical and public health evidence

21 May 2009

The UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has launched a new portal to allow both health and social care professionals to access sources of clinical and non-clinicalevidence. NHS Evidence will “help users identify the best evidence by sorting, sifting and prioritising a range of information”. Chief operating officer Dr Gillian Leng commented: “This is just the first stage in the development of an impartial service which will provide the most comprehensive source of relevant and trustworthy information about clinical, non clinical evidence and best practice, at the touch of a button. It’s good news that users, including patients, will be able to find the information they need and know that it comes from a credible source” (see press release).  Of note, PHG Foundation publications are readily accessible via this new portal. 

Bodies that produce official forms of guidance that meet specific criteria (producing systematically developed statements such as clinical and referral guidelines) may also apply for additional formal accreditation from an independent advisory body. There is to be regular review of new publications to allow the timely identification of relevant new evidence in different contexts, and systems for highlighting on the web, via newsletters and RSS feeds [Leng GC (2009) Lancet 373(9674): 1502-4].

On the website, it is possible to search within specific interest areas: clinical, commissioning, drugsand technologies, education and learning tools, public health and social care. The portal also allows users to search specialist collections and databases, books and journals; searches are ranked by relevance and quality. There will be ongoing development of NHS Evidence, which also has the capacity to commission the development of evidence-based information from external agencies and to engage with users and stakeholders to support the use of evidence in decision-making.

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