The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published a draft of new guidelines which aim to help educate health professionals on the importance of vitamin D.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an organization that helps provide guidance to improve health and social care in the United Kingdom.
The new guideline, titled “Vitamin D: implementation of existing guidance to prevent deficiency”, was put together to improve awareness and existing recommendations on vitamin D. While still a draft, the guidelines are available and can be found here.
The document provides information to help health professionals become more aware of vitamin D and to give advice and recommendations about supplements to groups more at risk for vitamin D deficiency, such as pregnant women, infants, and the elderly.
For example, the guidelines call for the implementation of computer systems to help inform general practitioners when to provide vitamin D supplements to patients.
NICE also urged that patients and healthcare professionals understand that diet, alone, cannot provide sufficient daily vitamin D.
“Health and social care professionals should recommend a daily vitamin D supplement to people from at-risk groups at every available opportunity,” the guideline states.
“Council leaders, commissioners and senior managers in local authorities and the NHS, elected members, directors of public health and their teams, and voluntary and community organizations should work in partnership to ensure that there is a consistent multiagency approach to improve awareness of vitamin D and increase the availability and uptake of supplements.”
NICE has published preliminary guidance to address the widespread deficiency in the UK. Practice Business, 2014.
Vitamin D: implementation of existing guidance to prevent deficiency. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2014.