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NICE guidelines

This presentation will outline the programme of clinical practice guidelines developed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK. This programme consists of over 20 clinical guidelines and covers all the major mental disorders. The methodological challenges in its development will be described, including the limitations of the evidence base and some commonly made criticisms of the NICE approach to clinical guideline development. The major successes of the programme will be described including work on schizophrenia, substance misuse and more generally on psychological therapies. The importance of a broad approach to supporting guideline implementation will be emphasised and illustrated by the development of the UK Department of Health Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme and related work on therapist training and competence.

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Correspondence to Stephen Pilling.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Pilling, S. NICE guidelines. Ann Gen Psychiatry 9, S53 (2010).

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  • Schizophrenia
  • Clinical Practice Guideline
  • Clinical Guideline
  • Clinical Excellence
  • Methodological Challenge