The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. NICE guidance is only officially for England only but some products and services are provided to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The decisions on how NICE guidance applies is made by the devolved administrations.
NICE was originally established in 1999 as the the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, a special health authority, to reduce variation in the availability and quality of NHS treatments and care. In 2005 it merged with the Health Development Agency and began developing public health guidance and its name changed to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
In April 2013 NICE was established in primary legislation, becoming a Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) providing a a solid statutory footing as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012. NICE then took on responsibility for developing guidance and quality standards in social care.