UK’s NICE consults on new draft quality standard for management of venous thromboembolic diseases

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On 3 October, the UK’ National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) opened a consultation on a new draft quality standard for the management of venous thromboembolic (VTE) diseases. The draft quality standard describes markers of high-quality, cost-effective care that, when delivered collectively, should contribute to improving the effectiveness, safety and experience of care for people with venous thromboembolic diseases.

The draft quality standard contains six statements for the care of people with a suspected or confirmed VTE. The statements include ensuring people with suspected VTE diseases have diagnostic investigations completed within 24 hours of first clinical suspicion. It also states that people with suspected deep vein thrombosis, where diagnostic investigations take longer than four hours from the time of first clinical suspicion, are offered interim therapeutic dose anticoagulation therapy. In the case of people with suspected PE, the draft quality standard states that they should be offered interim therapeutic dose anticoagulation therapy where diagnostic investigations take longer than one hour. In addition it states that people with unprovoked venous thromboembolic diseases are offered investigations for cancer.

Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of Health and Social Care at NICE said:“Despite the fact that VTE is recognised as an important cause of death or morbidity, and its prevention and management have become priorities for the NHS, every year thousands of people die in the UK of as the result of a blood clot, many of them unnecessarily. We are, therefore, very pleased to be publishing this draft quality standard for VTE diseases, which will contribute to improving the diagnosis and treatment of people with a DVT or PE by providing a focus on key elements of quality improvement. Registered stakeholders now have the opportunity to submit their comments on the draft quality standard via the NICE website.”

This document is not NICE’s final quality standard on the management of VTE diseases. The statements and measures presented are provisional and may change after consultation with stakeholders.

All eligible comments will be reviewed by the independent Topic Expert Group and the standard may be refined in light of this information. The final quality standard for VTE diseases is expected to be published in April 2013.