NICE Guidelines on Recognising and Managing Borderline Personality Disorder

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is there to improve outcomes for people using the NHS and other public health and social care services in the UK. They produce NICE guidelines and advice for health professionals to use in diagnosis and treatment, and develop quality standards in healthcare.

This guideline (Guidance CG78)  covers recognising and managing borderline personality disorder. It aims to help people with borderline personality disorder to manage feelings of distress, anxiety, worthlessness and anger, and to maintain stable and close relationships with others. All information contained herein is accurate at the time of posting.

This guide is for all people affected by borderline personality disorder, their families and carers, and healthcare professionals.

This guideline includes recommendations on:

  • general principles for working with people with borderline personality disorder;
  • recognition and management in primary care;
  • assessment and management by community mental health services;
  • inpatient services;
  • organisation and planning of services.

This guidance was last updated in 2018, and is planned to be reviewed in 2021 in response to the changes of the classification of personality disorders in the latest version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The ICD-11 is used to categorise diseases and health conditions, and is used by health professionals to diagnose and treat patients.

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service.

It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.

NICE guidelines for borderline personality disorder: recognition and management