Clinical Guidelines—one year on

DevelopmentThe Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC) published the first guidance for ambulance staff in 2000 and then again in 2004 and 2006. To help their Guidelines Development Group (GDG), led by Dr Simon Brown, a team at University of Warwick was engaged to help in the challenging task of ensuring that best evidence was being used and ‘consensus’ was achieved amongst experts—no easy task. The Ambulance Service Association (ASA) commissioned this work from JRCALC on behalf of the UK's ambulance services. Now that the ASA no longer exists (it ceased to represent ambulance services soon after the main mergers in 2006), AACE has the task, on behalf of its members, of seeing that a suitable set of guidelines is developed and kept current.Part of the reason for the long delay in updating the 2006 edition lay with the complexity of the task being undertaken by a range of people and often on a voluntary basis. A huge debt of thanks is due from all in the ambulance service to those experts that have so generously given their time.Going forward, NASMeD will lead for AACE on the development of new guidelines. It is important that our guidelines stay the ‘gold standard’ for use in pre-hospital care. AACE are the owners of the intellectual property rights (IPR) and are mindful to maintain their currency. All NHS ambulance Trusts invested in their development and we need to ensure this investment is well managed.It is anticipated that the Ambulance Lead Paramedics Group (ALPG) will play a key role in researching and drafting new guideline texts, and this means that your clinical guidelines will be developed by your colleagues for use in your service. JRCALC will continue to be the key reference point for the expert opinion required of guidelines that are internationally recognised as best practice. It is important that the ambulance sector ensures guidelines are developed to the highest standards and we are aware of the advice given by Harbour and Miller (2001), for example, and that from renown bodies such as the National Istitute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

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