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NICE guidelines and law: clinical governance implications for trusts

NICE guidelines and law: clinical governance implications for trusts Clinical guidelines from National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) have been developed by a rigorous process using the highest‐level evidence base. Their objectives are to reduce the variations in clinical care and end the postcode lottery of healthcare delivery. They are backed strongly by the government's agenda, are expected to be implemented and to be monitored, and this is to be monitored by CHAI. Up until now, clinical guidelines have had a secondary status to expert witness testimony in determining the standard of care in law in medical litigation. However, guidelines from NICE may have a more influential role in determining the standard of care in law by setting the standard of expected clinical practice. Trusts need to be sensitive to this as part of their risk management strategy. Trusts should facilitate the implementation of guidelines from NICE and audit their use through the framework of clinical governance. In the rare event that a trust should decide to positively diverge from such guidelines, it should do so only through a mechanism of due process that is required in public law for the accountability of the reasonableness of such a decision. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Clinical Governance: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

NICE guidelines and law: clinical governance implications for trusts

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1477-7274
DOI
10.1108/14777270410566607
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Clinical guidelines from National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) have been developed by a rigorous process using the highest‐level evidence base. Their objectives are to reduce the variations in clinical care and end the postcode lottery of healthcare delivery. They are backed strongly by the government's agenda, are expected to be implemented and to be monitored, and this is to be monitored by CHAI. Up until now, clinical guidelines have had a secondary status to expert witness testimony in determining the standard of care in law in medical litigation. However, guidelines from NICE may have a more influential role in determining the standard of care in law by setting the standard of expected clinical practice. Trusts need to be sensitive to this as part of their risk management strategy. Trusts should facilitate the implementation of guidelines from NICE and audit their use through the framework of clinical governance. In the rare event that a trust should decide to positively diverge from such guidelines, it should do so only through a mechanism of due process that is required in public law for the accountability of the reasonableness of such a decision.

Journal

Clinical Governance: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2004

Keywords: Clinical governance; Legislation; United Kingdom

References