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What is the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health?

The National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH) is one of seven centres established by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to develop guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS in England and Wales. Established in 2001, the NCCMH is responsible for developing mental health guidelines, and is a partnership between the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the British Psychological Society.

What can guidelines achieve?

The aims of guidelines are to bring about genuine and lasting improvements in patient care. Well-constructed and up-to-date clinical guidelines:

  • provide recommendations for the treatment and care of people by healthcare professionals

  • can be used to develop standards to assess the clinical practice of individual healthcare professionals

  • can be used in the education and training of healthcare professionals

  • can help patients to make informed decisions, and improve communication between the patient and healthcare professional.

In addition to contributing to the changes described above, clinical guidelines should also raise the profile of research with both practitioners and the public.

How are guidelines developed?

Guidelines are based on the best available research evidence. The NCCMH establishes a Guideline Development Group (GDG) for each guideline, consisting of health and social care professionals, lay representatives, and technical experts. The GDG develops each guideline by assessing the available evidence and deriving from it a series of clinical recommendations. Research recommendations are also developed which highlight gaps in the evidence to inform future research in this area.

For more information on how guidelines are produced, please visit the NICE website:


The NCCMH is located on two sites:

College Research and Training Unit
Standon House
4th Floor
21 Mansell Street
London E1 8AA

Centre for Outcomes Research and Effectiveness
Sub-Department of Clinical Health Psychology
1-19 Torrington Place
London WC1E 7HB