Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

DUK: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued new guidance recommending that a potentially sight-saving drug should be made available on the NHS to people with diabetic macular oedema (DMO).

The draft guidance recommends Lucentis (Ranibizumab), Novartis is used as a treatment for the eye condition and if the final guidance - expected to be published next month - goes ahead, this treatment would become available on the NHS.  At least 50,000 people in the UK could be affected by DMO, a serious eye condition which can lead to sight loss as a result of fluid leaking from the small blood vessels in the eye.
Press release & links
NICE: NICE has awarded a contract to the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), and its partner organisations, to support the development, adoption & dissemination of its social care guidance & quality standards from 1 April 2013, as the NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care.
NICE will commission its Collaborating Centre for Social Care to develop its social care guidance on up to 6 topics at a time.  The scheduling of these topics is currently underway. 

The first 2 NICE quality standards for social care will be published in April 2013, as part of a pilot programme to test its methods and processes.  These will cover priority areas for quality improvement for care services for people with dementia and for the health & wellbeing of looked-after children & young people.
Press release & links
ScotGovRules designed to prevent nitrate pollution of the water environment, in designated areas of Scotland, have been revised. Following a consultation last year, the Scottish Government is amending its Action Programme for Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs).

The European Directive requires Member States to have an action programme on NVZs to protect groundwater and surface water from nitrate pollution from farming activities, and these are expected to be toughened over time.
Press release & links
Monitor: For the first time, board members of NHS Trusts seeking foundation trust status will be asked to make a declaration confirming that they have provided all relevant information to Monitor in the course of the assessment process. The health sector regulator is asking boards of applicant trusts to make the assurance in a letter of representation before the trust can be considered for foundation trust status.
New guidance for applicant trusts, issued by Monitor last week, also allows the regulator to require applicant trusts to commission an external review into service performance or governance arrangements where the trust has not presented enough evidence to meet the authorisation criteria.
Press release & links
WAG: A new smartphone app offering guidance, support & information has been launched.  SNAP Cymru’s bilingual app, Wmff!, aims to encourage young people aged 11-25 to seek support & advice for themselves on a range of issues including bullying, exclusions, getting back into education, finding work and young people’s rights. 
The new app will allow young people to send an instant message to a worker from the SNAP helpline, or email or call the helpline directly. They can also listen & watch young people speak about their own experiences or join a secure online forum and talk to other young people about their problems. 
Press release
CO: The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, which is part of the Cabinet Office, has announced the publication of its internal guidance on aspects of legislation and the Parliamentary process. This builds on the publication of Parliamentary Counsel’s drafting guidance and the Cabinet Office’s guidance to departments about the process of creating primary legislation (called the Guide to Making Legislation).
Over the next few months a series of pamphlets will be published, with the first batch published last week.
Press release & links
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