NICE and the other NCCs

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) was established as a Special Health Authority for England and Wales on 1 April 1999. It is part of the NHS and provides authoritative and reliable guidance on healthcare for patients, healthcare professionals and the wider public. One of its core responsibilities is to produce clinical guidelines to improve the quality of clinical care.

On 1 April 2005, NICE joined with the Health Development Agency to become the new National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

As of 1 April 2013, NICE became a non-departmental public body.  At the same time it took on responsibility for social care guidance, as reflected in its new name of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

NICE guidelines are evidence-based, systematically developed statements that assist clinicians and patients in making decisions about appropriate healthcare for specific clinical circumstances. The advice contained must be derived from the best research evidence available using predetermined and internationally agreed methods, and including consideration of cost-effectiveness.

Four external National Collaborating Centres (NCCs) and one internal centre at NICE support the delivery of NICE guidelines.

Women's and Children's Health

National Clinical Guideline Centre

Mental Health


More information about the NICE clinical guidelines programme can be found on the NICE website.