The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides expert guidance for clinical practice, which is adopted by healthcare professionals.

After a long and intense period of drafting and consultation, today marks the publication of the guidelines for the assessment and management of tinnitus.

The BTA were involved at all stages of the production of these guidelines, and the response to our call for feedback was amazing. Many of the points raised by you were incorporated in the finished document.

The aims of the guidelines are to make a difference to people with tinnitus by making sure:

  • when people seek help for tinnitus it is always taken seriously
  • more support is offered to people to cope with the distress caused by tinnitus
  • the right tests are offered to explore any possible cause of tinnitus
  • doctors know when to refer someone with tinnitus, and how quickly, to rule out other conditions.

I was particularly pleased to see the emphasis on making decisions about your care together with your health professionals. Shared decision making is something we’ve supported for a while now, and the guidelines clearly say that your healthcare professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. They should also:

  • discuss how tinnitus affects you and reassure you that there are ways to help
  • help you to understand your tinnitus and how to manage it in your daily life
  • discuss fully with you the different tests and any possible treatments for tinnitus.

I hope that the guidelines will make sure that everyone with tinnitus receives the most appropriate care, and that there is an end to the variation across the country that is experienced at the moment.

 

Further reading

The final guideline has now been published on the NICE website. You can also find the supporting evidencetools and resources as well as all the stakeholder comments that were received during consultation and the responses to these comments.

The recommendations from this guideline have been included in the NICE pathway on tinnitus, which brings together everything in an interactive flowchart.

There is brief information about the guideline for people with tinnitus, carers and the public at 'information for the public'.