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NICE interventional procedures programme publishes landmark 300th guideline

28 May 09

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published its 300th piece of interventional procedures (IP) guidance.

Launched in 2002, the IP programme produces recommendations on whether interventional procedures used for diagnosis or treatment are safe enough and work well enough for routine use in the NHS. It does not make recommendations to the NHS about whether or not they should fund procedures.

Professor Bruce Campbell, Chair of the Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee said: “NICE took responsibility for interventional procedures guidance on 1 April 2002 and since then has produced guidance on a wide variety of topics including total wrist replacement, living donor lung transplantation for end-stage lung disease and photorefractive (laser) surgery for the correction of refractive error. The IP programme makes it possible for new treatments and tests to be introduced into the NHS in a responsible way, by providing guidance on how safe procedures are and how well they work. It is a vital step in enabling patients to access innovative procedures in a safe and informed way, ensuring extra measures are taken to explain any uncertainty about how well procedures work and any potential risks.”

The first IP guidance NICE produced was uterine artery embolisation for fibroids and the 300th, issued today, is keyhole treatment of a prolapsed (slipped) lumbar disc by endoscope-guided laser. All published IP guidelines can be found on the NICE website.

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