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NICE to know – NICE Guidelines

by – October 26, 2016

Nice to know - NICE Guidelines

NICE Guidelines – a patient’s best friend

It still amazes me that even after 17 years of being established very few patients know or have heard of The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). NICE was originally set up in 1999 as a special health authority, to reduce variation in the availability and quality of NHS treatments and care. The government believed that creating NICE could help to speed up the pace at which good value treatments were used across the NHS, in turn promoting and encouraging successful innovation on the part of clinicians, pharmaceutical companies and the medical devices industry.

We still see many people with varicose veins who recount the difficulties they have experienced in getting a referral for assessment and treatment by their GP’s or Private Medical Insurers – often being told that varicose veins are “only cosmetic” or that they do not have any complications that warrant treatment.

The new NICE guidelines are actually a patient’s best friend for anyone being treated by the NHS, as they explain how each type of symptom should be treated and in the instance of varicose veins NICE have now explained that this is wrong.

According to the NICE CG168 – Varicose veins in the legs: The diagnosis and management of varicose veins – ALL of the following patients need to be referred for assessment for treatment:

  • Varicose veins, either previously untreated or previously treated and recurrent, who have lower limb symptoms typically pain, aching, discomfort, swelling (of legs), heaviness and itching
  • Skin changes around the lower leg – such as read or brown marks or eczema – that might be caused by varicose veins or “hidden varicose veins”
  • Clots in the leg veins – called superficial thrombophlebitis or “phlebitis”, thought to be caused by varicose veins or “hidden varicose veins”
  • A venous leg ulcer
  • A healed leg ulcer

It is also interesting to note that The Whiteley Clinic (who performed the first endovenous surgery in the UK in March 1999) through our continued research, have actually been developing this approach over the last 17 years and it wasn’t until 2013 that NICE published their clinical guidelines CG 168 which agreed with the approach we had been taking a decade before. Over the next 10 to 15 years, we suspect that the guidelines will catch up with our treatments for perforators and pelvic veins, so that our ground breaking research will become more widely used and patients throughout the world will get better results.

We have a whole page on our website dedicated to the NICE Guidelines here »

Read the actual NICE guidelines here: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg168


For more information on the NICE Guidelines, varicose veins or related conditions, please see our website. Alternatively, if you want more information you can contact us using the contact form, email at info@thewhiteleyclinic.co.uk or call us on 01483 477180.

The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your doctor or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Always seek the advice of a doctor or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site and the information provided is not a substitute for medical advice.