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UK Merges Four NHS Centers Into New Guideline Group

Devicemakers can expect a greater recognition of clinical and cost-effectiveness review work and more consistency in the quality of guidelines following a merger of four of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) collaborating centers. The merger also will provide greater responsiveness to service needs and more efficient use and exchange of information, the Royal College of Physicians, which is hosting the center, says in a statement.

The merger of four National Collaborating Centres (NCCs) that produce clinical guidelines for the NHS on a wide range of topics (chronic and acute conditions) will create the largest clinical guideline centre in the UK and one of the largest in the world.

Funded by NICE, the National Clinical Guideline Centre (NCGC) is hosted by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and replaces four former NCCs – Acute Conditions (based at the Royal College of Surgeons), Chronic Conditions (based at the RCP), Nursing and Supportive Care (based at the Royal College of Nursing), and Primary Care (based at the Royal College of General Practitioners). The NCGC is a strong collaboration between these four established Royal Colleges, and all contribute to the governance of the new centre.

The NCGC, is launched officially on 1 April 2009, and is led by the new chief operating officer Dr Ian Bullock, formerly director of the NCC for Nursing and Supportive Care.

The merger aims to create an organisation that will gain an international reputation for developing high quality and clinically relevant guidance.