Within the huge and highly informative NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) website lies a gem of a resource called Clinical Knowledge Summaries or CKS for short. It is a brilliant product that should be known and used by all GPs and doctors training in general practice.

The CKS service provides summaries of the best available evidence and practical guidance on best practice in an accessible, easy to use format, covering a full range of primary care presentations for over 350 topics. 

Each year 10 new primary care topics each year, based on published NICE clinical guidelines, are released. The resource is free, well established and openly accessible with no need for registration. It is available to both the general public as well as the healthcare profession including all members of the primary healthcare team (in particular GP registrars).

Many secondary care based practitioners will find this resource very useful, especially when reading around areas outside their core expertise. Effectively, this offering is a very good online textbook built for the web and it reviews common conditions in considerable detail from a primary care perspective.

As the name suggests, these are summaries of the evidence in number of common primary care scenarios. These summaries provide practical advice on how to manage a patient with a clinical problem in front of you, based on high quality evidence brought to you by a respected body. Some of the articles cover a lot of material but it is easy to drill down to what you need, if you have a precise question. Often, if it is a specific piece of advice that you need then it can easily be found from within the main topic as the layout is logical and easy to understand. Of course, there is an in-house search engine as well as topics available by alphabetical order or arranged by specialty.

You can also use it as a regular source of continuing professional development as there is a “What’s new” section with new updates. I have used this resource for many years and found it an invaluable addition to regular practice and I appreciate the practical approach based on solid evidence and good practice.

Even better, these topics are clearly written in an understandable format and focus on common issues and presentations as well as taking into account practical considerations, reflecting the real world of medical practice in primary care. It is a great way to quickly refresh your neurones on a topic you have not come across for a while and need an update. Even better, the content is regularly refreshed with new topics and updates.

If you have not looked at this before then check it out as I suspect you will be pleasantly surprised by what is on offer here.