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Health organisations given NHS accreditation

30 October 2009

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Three healthcare organisations have become the first to be approved by the new NHS accreditation scheme for developing rigorous guidance for all staff.

The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s Centres for Clinical Practice (NICE CCP), and Health Technology Evaluation (NICE CHTE) were given the accreditation.

The scheme aims to ensure NHS staff have guidelines over best practice and patient care available online.

A number of criteria must be met to receive the NHS accreditation, including the clear use of language in guidance, processes for external peer review, and methods for stakeholder involvement.

Once organisations have been approved, they are able to carry a kite mark on their products.

Of the 9,000 guidelines now available on NHS Evidence, almost half are from sources that have either received accreditation or are scheduled to go through the process in the near future.

As well as enabling users to rapidly identify information from the most trusted sources, the NHS Evidence Accreditation Scheme will help drive up the standards by which guidance is produced; organisations will be able to see what good guidance production looks like and make an assessment about the processes they are using.

Mike O’Brien, MP, Minister of State for Health, said: “The NHS Evidence Accreditation Scheme will ensure that all of the content on NHS Evidence is to the highest possible quality, and I have no doubt that as a result NHS Evidence will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Jim Blair, consultant nurse in learning disabilities, St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “NHS Evidence Accreditation provides me with confidence that I can quickly and easily access quality-assured information to provide the highest standard of care to my patients – this has to be a good thing.”

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