NICE launches health inequalities toolkit for ICSs

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has launched a toolkit to help integrated care systems (ICS) to reduce health inequalities. 

The guidance highlights advice for factors that determine health and wellbeing, including: physiological impacts; health behaviours; wider determinants of health; and psycho-social factors.

It outlines approaches to addressing health inequalities and identifies five focus clinical areas that need urgent improvement. In addition to the focus areas of maternity, severe mental illness, chronic respiratory disease, early cancer diagnosis, and hypertension, NICE has added smoking cessation.

For each section, NICE has mapped relevant NICE guidance, case studies, impact reports, endorsed guidance and ways to put the guidance into practical use. 

Specific to the focus on early cancer diagnosis, case studies are shared including an online cancer education platform for primary care; reflections of local experience and success of implementing NICE guidance for suspected cancer; recognition and referral (NG12) in Blackburn with Darwen CCG and East Lancashire CCG; completion of the NICE baseline assessment tool which led to service improvements in referral of patients with breast symptoms from primary care to secondary care in Brighton and Sussex Universities NHS Trust; and a study from The London and South East Sarcoma Network Sarcoma Advisory Group, where referral, diagnostic and treatment pathways were developed to tackle late referral and diagnosis of sarcoma.

To view the toolkit, please click here.