Interventional procedure guidance

Our interventional procedures guidance programme reviews new or existing medical procedures to make sure that they are safe and effective enough for wider NHS use.

The majority of the procedures we look at are novel or innovative, and we assess a wide range of treatments or diagnostic tests, including:

  • Treatments using instruments that enter the body, such as endoscopes
  • Procedures which use electromagnetic radiation
  • Procedures which use ultrasound

We aim to protect the safety of patients and to support doctors and other healthcare professionals by producing guidance on best practice when using these procedures.

Highlights of 2016-17:

Last year, we published 25 interventional procedures guidance covering a range of treatments or diagnostic tests, including:

Standardising how NHS professionals use new interventional procedures

Last year we worked with devolved NHS organisations across the four UK nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) to develop a detailed summary about using new interventional procedures across the NHS. 

This summary was approved by the NICE board in March 2017. It has now replaced the Health Services Circular, a former bulletin service.

Updating guidance on mesh devices

In 2016–17 we began updating all of our existing guidance relating to the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.

For these conditions, we assessed surgical procedures using mesh devices as treatment. There were uncertainties about the safety and efficacy of mesh procedures, and a report from NHS England’s mesh working group called for a review of existing guidance.

We have since updated the majority of our guidance on mesh insertions to ensure that it is based on the most up-to-date evidence.

Ensuring the safety of patients and providing the right information for healthcare professionals is a key aim of our programme. 

Creuzfeldt-Jacob Disease

The chief medical officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland asked us to develop guidance on the prevention of transmission of Creuzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD).

CJD is a rare, degenerative and usually fatal neurological disease. It can be passed from person to person either genetically from parent to child or through the use of instruments in some medical procedures. Almost 200 cases of CJD were fatal in the UK last year.

We developed guidance, using a bespoke methodology that covers the management of all patients having procedures where there could be some risk of transmission of CJD from the instruments used.

Watch this video to see how members of the public are working with us to produce interventional procedures guidance

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