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NICE provides a nice summary

Posted on 28th May 2013 by

Learning Resources

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) UK have produced over 300 clinical knowledge summaries [1] on common and significant presentations to primary care physicians. The site aims to provide concise summaries of the current UK guidance on diagnosis and management of common disease presentations in primary care. Information provided for each topic ranges from presentation, diagnosis, management, and evidence. Subjects are presented both alphabetically and by specialty. Links are also provided from the site to NICE care pathways.


The site is primarily aimed at primary care practitioners but the accessible manner in which the topics are written as well as the depth and appropriate references make it a suitable aid for medical students in their clinical years as well as nurses and other members of the multidisciplinary team.

What is it all about?

As a UK medical student, over the past 4 years, I have found myself frequently using and referring this site when I am unsure about the recommended management of a condition. The site is easy to navigate and provides the most up to date guidance that has been published. Unfortunately, this guidance have not been reviewed since 2008, but this is likely to be a reflection of the publication of the last UK NICE guidelines on the subject. While the majority of common presentations to primary care are covered, some conditions are not covered in their own section, such as certain of the blood malignancies.  These conditions fall under ‘Neck lumps’ or ‘Suspected haematological malignancies’, requiring the reader to search through several different routes in order to find what they are looking for. While I appreciate that blood malignancies are not routinely monitored in a community setting, the addition of information under a more obvious sub-heading may be beneficial. This also extends to anaemia. The site details anaemia due to B12 and Folate deficiency with management but other causes such as iron deficiency are not described. The design of the site has a basic yet accessible nature that aids quick navigation to the topic area that you wish to find. Depending on the condition/area, the time it takes to read each knowledge summary may vary but for specific queries there are plenty of side tabs to get to the relevant area quickly.


Overall the site is very user friendly and provides through and concise summaries of common presentations in a UK primary care setting. While at times the categorisation of common conditions is not always the most apparent, this is more than compensated for by the good referencing to papers and NICE management pathways as a source of further reading.


http://cks.nice.org.uk/   [1] Anon. Clinical Knowledge Summaries [Internet]. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence; copyright 2013 [cited: 28 May 2013]. Available from: http://cks.nice.org.uk/


Lucy Homer

Hi, I'm Lucy and am currently a medical student from the University of Liverpool, UK. I am currently intercalating in a Masters of Research in Clinical Science, before my final year of medicine, and hope to go on to an academic foundation year job after I graduate. View more posts from Lucy

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