RCP Guidelines Database

Royal College of Physicians Guidelines Database

The Royal College of Physicians has developed comprehensive resource for identifying widely accepted clinical guidelines and it is hoped that members of the specialist societies will find the following information useful.

It is one of the Royal College of Physicians' core functions to set and improve standards in medical practice. Guideline and audit projects are both essential in setting targets and measuring if they have been met.

Much audit and guideline activity is carried out by specialist societies; the Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit of the Royal College of Physicians has been working with the Clinical Effectiveness Forum since November 2000. The brief of the Clinical Effectiveness Forum is to share experience on evidence based multidisciplinary guideline production and co-ordinate clinical effectiveness activities to achieve greater effect. The Clinical Effectiveness Forum is attended by a guideline/audit lead from each of the medical specialities that come under the RCP umbrella.

The forum developed a central database of clinical guidelines, produced over the preceding five years, covering all the areas of clinical practice that come under the RCP umbrella. Clinical guidelines are "systematically developed statements to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances". They should "make explicit recommendations with a definite intent to influence what clinicians do". Guidelines are intended to describe the diagnosis and management of a particular condition and should provide a clear indication of the best choices for the clinical management of a patient.

The database can now be accessed via the Royal College of Physicians website:

Although patients, carers and relatives are welcome to use the database, it was designed for use by healthcare professionals familiar with guideline terminology.

The database has specific criteria for inclusion:

  1. All UK guidelines produced in the previous five years and relevant to the specialities covered by the Royal College of Physicians.
  2. Non-UK guidelines are included if they are of relevance to UK practice.
  3. A few guidelines from earlier years are included, if the relevant specialist society has confirmed their continuing appropriateness.
  4. Guidelines on performance or accreditation for procedures are included only if they have clear impact on clinical management of a specific condition.
  5. It is evident that the guidelines meet the AGREE criteria.
  6. Matters of training are excluded.

The Clinical Effectiveness Forum in conjunction with the Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit is continually searching for guidelines that meet the inclusion criteria and currently, the database is updated quarterly.

For further details, please contact:

Penny Irwin
Project Co-ordinator
Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit
Royal College of Physicians London
11, St. Andrews Place
Regent's Park
London NW1 4LE

Tel: 020 7935 1174 Ext: 349
Fax: 020 7487 3988
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Clinical Guidance

intro page for clinical guidance


E-learning Training Resource for Clinical Audit

February 2012: The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and partners have developed an exciting new e-learning training resource on clinical audit for trainees and other health professionals – go to e-learning-resources-clinical-audit.

Local Clinical Audit: HQIP Handbook for Physicians

Local clinical audit has enormous clinical potential which to date has been, to a large extent, untapped. This handbook provides a stimulus and a means whereby physicians, both in training and in consultant posts, can maximise the full benefits of audit. While all are familiar with data collection, the other critical phases of the audit cycle are equally important. We need to enthuse and enable physicians to reflect on audit findings, inter-relate with patients and managers in devising methods for improving care, take a lead role in driving improvements and ensure repeat data collection to demonstrate change.

In these ways patient care can be improved, the quality of care can be assured and clinicians, both individually, as Societies and as a College, can truly meet their professional aspirations. This handbook should help us along the way.

Dr Michael Cheshire
Clinical Vice President
Royal College of Physicians, London


A resource guide for physician specialties

Gastroenterology and Hepatology:

The purpose of revalidation is to assure patients and the public, employers and other healthcare professionals that licensed doctors are up to date and fit to practise.

In order to maintain your licence to practice you will be expected to have at least one appraisal per year that is based on the General Medical Council's (GMC) core guidance for doctors, Good Medical Practice. You will need to maintain a portfolio of supporting information (SI) drawn from your current practice which demonstrates how you are continuing to meet the requirements set out by the GMC.

This document should be read in conjunction with GMC and RCP documents.

Revalidation will be introduced at the end of 2012. To help consultants prepare for this change the Royal College of Physicians have an online repository of information, tools and FAQs, including a helpdesk. You can access these materials here:

The pages include a Personal Clinical Audit Tool, allowing people to document and reflect on their participation and the outcomes of audit.

The College also provide a Revalidation Policy Update, the latest version of which is below:


BSG guidelines deal with the investigation, management and prevention of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

These Guidelines have been prepared or endorsed by the British Society of Gastroenterology. They represent a consensus of best practice based on the available evidence at the time of preparation. They may not apply in all situations and should be interpreted in the light of specific clinical situations and resource availability. Clinical decisions involve a complex analysis of the patient’s condition and available routes of action which may lead a clinician to take a course of action that varies from these guidelines. Guidelines are not rules and should not be interpreted as establishing a legal standard of care.

Clinical Comparators

Hospital Episode Statistics Data

A website for Gastroenterologists in England providing clinically-driven analysis of routinely collected NHS data (Hospital Episode Statistics).

View the data recorded for your team and your trust and compare with local trusts and the national picture.

National Library for Health

National Library for Health Gastroenterology & Liver Diseases Specialist Library

The National Library for Health Gastroenterology & Liver Diseases Specialist Library ( GLDSL)  is available via .

The Specialist Libraries are an integral part of the National Library for Health (NLH), a library and information service for the NHS, aiming to deliver a range of services on a 24 x 7 basis to support patient care, staff development and research. For further information visit - The NLH Gastroenterology & Liver Diseases Specialist Library (GLDSL) draws together resources and information that is relevant, best evidence and current within these specialties. Although targeted at health professionals it also serves to inform patients and their carers.

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