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Concise guidelines

What we are doing

Concise guidelines provided short guidance on the best ways to treat and manage a range of conditions and illnesses. The guidelines were short and accessible so that physicians could respond quickly to these conditions, which may be fairly common but outside their own specialist area. They were published in Clinical Medicine and free to all to download.

We are no longer developing concise guidelines. The guidelines listed below have not been replaced by new guidance or were co-produced with other organisations who continue to list them on their websites.

The RCP periodically reviews this list but advises readers to check for up-to-date guidance from guideline producing bodies, specialist societies and the NHS.

Many of the concise guidelines developed under this programme are out of date and have been replaced by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance or guidance by specialist societies. In the interests of patient safety these guidelines are no longer available:

  • Advance care planning
  • Diagnosis and initial management of transient ischaemic attack
  • Emergency oxygen use in adults
  • Emergency treatment of anaphylaxis in adults
  • Identification, management and referral of adults with chronic kidney disease
  • Non-invasive ventilation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Pain: Assessment of pain in older people
  • Pharmacological management of hypertension
  • Prevention, diagnosis, referral and management of delirium in older people


These guidelines provided clear and concise recommendations for best practice, and practical tools with which to implement them. Generally, concise guidelines were abstracted from a longer source guideline, either published or under development, and summarised the guidance relevant to non-specialist physicians. They were often developed by specialists to provide advice to non-specialists covering topics such as the recognition or diagnosis of a condition, or the criteria for referral to a specialist or management of common problems.