I thought I would include this response from NICE and HEE as it is an important message. Click the link below to access the letter or read it below.
Further to Hamilton’s recommendation that general practitioners consult Google Scholar and ask their colleagues if they are unsure about prescribing cannabis,1 we write to remind readers in England that they have 24/7 access to reliable sources of evidence to inform clinical decisions.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s evidence search (https://www.evidence.nhs.uk) provides access to authoritative evidence on health, social care, and public health. It focuses on synthesised secondary evidence, including content from over 800 sources, including the British National Formulary, Clinical Knowledge Summaries, SIGN, the Cochrane Library, the royal colleges, Public Health England, and GOV.UK. Information and knowledge specialists at NICE add further good quality systematic reviews. This service is openly available to everyone in the UK; here you will find reviews on the use of cannabis in treatment of epilepsy, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, and asthma.
Healthcare staff in England can access a vital, core collection of healthcare databases and full text journals for no charge at https://hdas.nice.org.uk. Purchased by Health Education England on behalf of the NHS in England, these are provided online in partnership with NICE. You simply need an NHS OpenAthens account. Register at https://www.nice.org.uk/about/what-we-do/evidence-services/journals-and-databases/OpenAthens.
NHS funded librarians and knowledge specialists are skilled in helping colleagues find information and search for evidence. They can offer summarised evidence searches and help teams keep up-to-date.
Health is a knowledge industry. We encourage practices to contact their local healthcare library. Check http://hlisd.org for details. Health Education England is committed to work with NHS organisations to ensure that all staff can access knowledge for healthcare23 and benefit from the expertise of healthcare librarians. We know that only a third of Clinical Commissioning Groups currently have such arrangements in place for their staff and member practices. For advice on improving your organisation’s access to knowledge services please contact your regional Health Education England library lead.3