Collecting examples of best practice in health and social care

Our local practice collection includes more than 500 examples of improvement in health and social services.

The collection consists of:

  • Quality and productivity case studies – which focus on quality improvement at a local level that also saves costs.
  • Shared learning examples ­– which show how NICE guidance and quality standards have been put into practice by range of health, local government and social care organisations.

Quality and productivity case studies

These case studies are examples of best practice that showcase innovation and are submitted to NICE. We evaluate each case study for the way it has been implemented and whether it has improved quality or led to savings. As part of our quality assurance process all published case studies have undergone external peer review.

Case studies that we’ve published this year cover topics that include:

NICE Shared Learning examples

Our Shared Learning examples demonstrate the ways in which organisations have put our guidance or quality standards into practice.

Each example outlines challenges that have ultimately been overcome through the implementation of NICE guidance or quality standards.

They also highlight the effect that the change had on quality and productivity, and any cost savings that were made.

Each year we recognise the best examples at the NICE Shared Learning Awards. Presented at the NICE Conference, the awards celebrate the shared learning examples that we think deserve special recognition.

Project to reduce antibiotic prescribing scoops top prize

In 2014, Churchill Medical Centre won the award for its work in reducing antibiotic prescribing for coughs and colds in primary care.

The Churchill Medical Centre in Surrey created a multidisciplinary team of ‘champions’ from across the trust to devise evidence-based, consistent messages based on NICE guideline to reduce inappropriately high levels of antibiotic prescribing.

The team created a patient information poster, displayed in waiting rooms and consultation rooms, which highlighted that many common illnesses do not require antibiotics and that treating symptoms at home often leads to the best outcomes.

A single A4 sheet was also developed which contained evidence-based messages that clinicians could pass on to their patients. Messages included what the normal duration is of common coughs and colds, evidence on the inefficiency of antibiotics, and when it is appropriate to call for help.

An audit was then carried out to measure the project’s results, and this showed a 15 per cent drop in prescribing of antibiotics for coughs and colds – from 54.5 per cent in October 2012 to 37.7 per cent in January 2013.

During the same period, antibiotic prescribing for upper respiratory tract infections fell from 32.6 per cent to 19.7 per cent.

Dr Peter Smith, GP Principal at Churchill Medical Centre, said: “Our project might have been ‘low-tech’, but it is easily reproducible in many practices. It was about giving people the evidence, and ensuring messages were positive.”

Submit an example to the Local Practice Collection to be in with a chance of being shortlisted for next year’s award.