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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

NICE Guidance - June 2013

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published new guidance for the month of June 2013. This month there are three clinical guidelines and one public health guideline that impact upon primary care.

The Falls guideline extends and updates guidance originally published in November 2004 and provides evidence-based advice on preventing falls in older people. This update now includes recommendations about preventing falls during a hospital stay.

The Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis guideline provides evidence-based advice on the diagnosis and management of suspected idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in adults. It includes a list of clinical features that may prompt consideration for a chest X‑ray or referral to a specialist.

The Stroke rehabilitation guideline provides evidence-based advice on the care of adults and young people aged 16 years and older who have had a stroke with continuing impairment, activity limitation or participation restriction.

The Tobacco harm reduction public health guideline provides recommendations to help people, particularly those who are highly dependent on nicotine, to minimise the harms from continued smoking. It is noted that stopping in one step (abrupt cessation) offers the best chance of lasting success but recognises that some people:

  • may not be able (or do not want) to stop smoking in one step.
  • may want to stop smoking, without necessarily giving up nicotine.
  • may not be ready to stop smoking, but want to reduce the amount they smoke.

In such people this guideline recommends harm-reduction approaches which may or may not include temporary or long-term use of licensed nicotine-containing products.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this month's new guidance and implement any necessary changes to practice.

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