New NICE guidance on valve disease

The British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) continues to work hard to influence clinical practice within the United Kingdom. In March 2021, we were listed as a stakeholder by NICE with respect to their guidance on valve disease and created a working group to respond to the draft guidance.

It is essential to the Society that the guidance reflects the current evidence with respect to the use of echocardiography in the diagnosis and management of heart valve disease. As such, we felt that the initial draft guideline did not reflect the current evidence base that has been developed by the writing groups within the Education and Research Committees. We developed a detailed and evidence based response to NICE as part of the consultation process to reflect the important evidence we have published with respect to the use of echocardiography in heart valve disease.

NICE acknowledged many of our working group’s recommendations and as a result, amended their draft guideline to support our feedback to them. The NICE guideline was published in November 2021 and can be found here. In addition to changing their guidance following our comments, NICE have also referred to the Society’s published valve guidance to support the use of echocardiography to define the severity of valve disease. This reflects how important and respected our guidelines have become in clinical practice for the safe and effective management of our patients.

The Society is seen as a key stakeholder with respect to clinical practice involving echocardiography. The valve guidance published by NICE clearly demonstrates our growing position nationally and our input is seen as a key driver for the safety of our patients.

Professor Martin Stout, Vice President of the Society and Chair of the working group said, “I would like to thank all the members of the working group, together with the Education and Research Committees, for their drive to produce expert quality evidence based guidelines for our members and the wider clinical community, so that our patients receive optimal and safe care.”

The working group was comprised of Professor Martin Stout, Dr Liam Ring, Dr Claire Colebourn, Dr Bushra Rana, Dr Abbas Zaidi, Mr Shaun Robinson, Dr Dan Augustine, Mr Keith Pearce and Dr Benoy Shah.