Local support for putting our guidance into practice

Our field-based team of eight implementation consultants work with organisations at a local level to help put our guidance into practice. Each consultant works with the NHS, local authority and other organisations in their area, ensuring regular interaction with NICE stakeholders.

The meetings provide a chance for organisations to hear first-hand about the latest developments from NICE, and provide an opportunity for them to offer feedback on things that NICE could do better to meet their needs.

The field team:

  • engages with organisations and networks to encourage, inform and help the implementation of NICE guidance and advice
  • gathers feedback to underpin all aspects of NICE’s work, including examples of good practice to share with other organisations
  • promotes the wide range of resources that NICE provides to help put guidance into practice

The team reviews its approach frequently to ensure that it is fully responsive to the needs of organisations, and that it is achieving a fair and full coverage of all relevant organisations and networks.

Working with organisations at a local level – a perspective from Northern Ireland

Lesley Edgar is the NICE representative for Northern Ireland (NI). Her role involves informing health and social care organisations about the availability of NICE guidance and support resources. She also provides strategic advice and support to the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS), which is the devolved administration tasked with improving the health and social care of people in NI.

Here she talks about her experience of working with health and social care organisations in NI.


“What organisations do you regularly meet with as part of your role?”

“As the organisations in NI are in an integrated health and social care system, the trusts that I meet are interested in the implementation of NICE health, public health and social care guidance.

“I work closely with the DHSSPS on the strategic direction for the implementation of NICE guidance in NI. Working within a devolved administration provides excellent opportunities to have all of the organisations around the table when decisions about policy are being made. I find it equally important that I have the opportunity to work very closely with frontline staff.”

“What examples have you seen organisations putting NICE guidance into practice?”

“Since starting my role I’ve worked with organisations at both strategic and operational levels to help implement NICE guidance. At a strategic level I’ve worked with the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) to gain an understanding how organisations and arms-length bodies in NI disseminate, implement, monitor and provide assurance regarding the implementation of NICE guidance. As an example, I worked as an external adviser to RQIA’s review of the implementation of our guidance on dementia. This review examined the progress of the implementation of NICE guideline on dementia in each of the trusts.

“At an operational level I was involved in a project to improve antenatal care for women with multiple pregnancies. The regional project aimed to support the implementation of NICE guidance on multiple pregnancy. It was supported by the Public Health Agency with the aim of developing a regional service model and care pathway for multiple pregnancies. I participated in a regional workshop to put a networked approach into practice, as recommended by NICE. This led to the development of the commissioning of a new service, ensuring that all women with multiple pregnancies in NI receive high quality care.”

“What challenges might organisations face in putting our guidance into practice, and how are organisations coping with these challenges?”

“The challenges facing NI are similar to those faced by the rest the UK. There’s a rising prevalence of chronic disease, an ageing population, constrained funding, workforce pressures and rising patient expectations.

“The Transforming Your Care programme is addressing many of these challenges and aims to reconfigure services to focus on prevention, more self-care and greater support for people to help them live as independently and healthily as possible.

“Improving the quality of health and social care presents a considerable challenge for the organisations in NI. Promoting NICE guidance and quality standards, and working with organisations to implement them, can help address these challenges.

“At a strategic level, the DHSSPS’s policy for the implementation of NICE guidance ensures that organisations follow a robust, open and transparent process, so that our guidance actually gets put into practice. And at an operational level, the NI NICE Managers’ Forum provides a network for organisations to share ideas on best practice and to discuss how they’re coping with the pressures they are facing.”

“What projects are you looking forward to taking on in 2015/16?”

“In the coming year the Field Team will be focussing engagements on public health, social care, patient safety and primary care.

I’m especially excited about the developments in primary care in NI. In particular, the formation and initial activities of GP federations which will provide some challenges and importantly some opportunities for NICE.”