Delirium: NICE Quality Standard QS63 (NICE)


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a new quality standard “Delirium: Quality Standard (QS63)”, which covers the prevention, diagnosis and management of delirium in adults (aged 18 years and over) in hospital and long-term care settings.

“Older people, and people with cognitive impairment, dementia, severe illness or a hip fracture, are more at risk of delirium. About 20–30% of people on medical wards in hospital have delirium, and between 10% and 50% of people who have surgery develop delirium, with considerable variation across different types of surgery and settings. In long-term care settings, the prevalence of delirium is under 20%”.

This quality standard is expected to help improve the detection and incidence of delirium, and should help in reducing length of hospital stay, falls and mortality in hospitals. QS63 might also improve the overall experience of hospital care and carer involvement in healthcare.

Sections in this quality standard comprise:

  1. Introduction.
  2. List of quality statements.
  3. Quality statement 1: Assessing recent changes in behaviour.
  4. Quality statement 2: Interventions to prevent delirium.
  5. Quality statement 3: Use of antipsychotic medication for people who are distressed.
  6. Quality statement 4: Information and support.
  7. Quality statement 5: Communication of diagnosis to GPs.
  8. Using the quality standard.
  9. Diversity, equality and language.
  10. Development sources.
  11. Related NICE quality standards.
  12. Quality Standards Advisory Committee and NICE project team.
  13. About this quality standard.

Full Text Link


Delirium: NICE Quality Standard 63. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), July 2014.

Updated NICE Care Pathway

There is an accompanying Delirium NICE Care Pathway, originally issued in September 2012 and now updated:

Full Text Link


Delirium. NICE Pathways. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, updated July 2014.

THINK Delirium in Intensive Care

A best practice case study about improving the assessment and treatment of patients with delirium in the ICU:

Full Text Link


McCann, J. (2020). THINK delirium in intensive care. [Online]: Warrington and Halton NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust / National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), March 6th 2020.

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in Acute Hospitals, Antipsychotics, Commissioning, Community Care, Delirium, Diagnosis, Falls Prevention, For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), Hip Fractures, Management of Condition, Mental Health, National, NICE Guidelines, Non-Pharmacological Treatments, Patient Care Pathway, Person-Centred Care, Pharmacological Treatments, Quick Insights, UK and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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