#AMillionDecisions – progress, plans and how you can be involved

#AMillionDecisions, the joint campaign by Health Education England and CILIP, the library and information association, was launched at the end of January 2017 with the key message inviting government and health service providers to make use of the skills of librarians and knowledge specialists to ensure that decisions are informed by research evidence.

What success has there been so far?

The campaign has been operating at two levels.  Primarily messaging was targeted to senior leaders in the NHS arms-length bodies such as NICE, NIHR and NHS England.

The secondary focus of the campaign was to engage the health library and knowledge service workforce in England to use the campaign logo and messages to highlight the positive contribution they make to health care.

In tandem with the campaign has been promotion of the NHS Library and Knowledge Services in England Policy.  This sets out a commitment by Health Education England endorsing the role of Library and Knowledge Services and has been a useful lever with which to engage stakeholders.

Inspired by #AMillionDecisions in England, health library and knowledge services in Ireland and Scotland have launched similar campaigns and Wales are considering something next year.

Following a pause in activity during the General Election period this phase of the campaign was successfully picked up again in June with face-to-face engagement with a number of senior executives at an NHS Confederation Conference exhibition stand.

What is planned for the Autumn?

An approach has been made to the Secretary of State for Health to endorse the campaign and a breakfast meeting is being held on Friday 6th October with representatives from a range of NHS organisations at which the benefits of using librarians to mobilise evidence for decision making will be discussed.  Following this meeting it is planned to issue an online pledge to be endorsed by anyone supporting the key message.

Leading up to the breakfast meeting further social cards with messages of support from our Champions will be released on Twitter along with further case studies illustrating the positive impact of health librarians.

Further activities to promote the message beyond the end of the campaign, including use of the signed pledge, will be taken forward in partnership by the Health Education England regional Library Leads and committee of the CILIP Health Libraries Group.

What can you do now to get involved?

  • Take part in the #ukmedlibs Twitter chat on the 19th September – discuss what the campaign means to you
  • Use the logo in all of your communications – set-up an e-mail auto signature and quote the campaign at every opportunity
  • Use local examples to demonstrate the impact of your service – share on social media using #AMillionDecisions
  • Re-tweet the social cards and case studies as they are published
  • Feedback about the campaign to library leads or using the discussion space on the Knowledge for Healthcare Blog

Regional Library Leads, Health Education England

 

 

 

Fake News, Evidence Ignored and Knowledge Dismissed

We cannot fail to notice, both professionally and personally, the discussions taking place about information, evidence and knowledge.  How information is used, misinformation shared, known evidence dismissed and knowledge withheld.

One example of fake news was described on Newsnight on August 23rd 2017*. An American travelled 500 miles with a rifle to “self-investigate” a pizza restaurant where an alleged paedophile ring operated and kept under-age children against their will. This news had been reported widely in print and on social media. The source of this news was an investigation into the emails of Hillary Clinton’s personal campaign manager. It was reported that the emails contained the words “cheese pizza” which were thought to be code for “child p-graphy”. The two words shared the same initial letters: c and p. Three shots were fired in the restaurant, there were no under-age children being held and thankfully no-one was hurt.

As we can see from the fake news story, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” (itself a misquote from the poet Alexander Pope) but knowledge can also empower us, enable us to say “no”, to achieve, to understand, to form judgements and to make decisions.

We work every day to collect and supply information, signpost evidence and ensure knowledge is mobilised and used in our organisations.  We enable evidence to be used in decision-making, we support the growth of knowledge rich organisations as well as delivering training to help staff critically appraise or discern the usefulness and validity of information. It is that learnt skill that enables wise choices and the avoidance of “fake news”, or in our terms, weak evidence.

But we also need to turn the spotlight on ourselves and ask ourselves questions too.

How do we use information, evidence and knowledge? What is the weak evidence that we use to justify our policies and practices? What are the knowledge needs, preferences and behaviours of the healthcare staff, students, patients and public who use our services? To help us understand these knowledge needs and preferences, two librarians in the South have created a bulletin for us to use.  Please read the bulletin, critically appraise what is included and collectively and individually let’s constructively challenge one another to ensure that facts matter, evidence is crucial and knowledge enables good decisions to be made.

The bulletin will be produced four times a year in September, November, January and March. It will be circulated via your library and knowledge services leads, so look out for the September edition due very soon.

Sue Robertson
Knowledge Services Development Lead (South)

* Eugene Robinson. Newsnight. 23rd August 2017 https://subsaga.com/bbc/news/newsnight/2017/08/23.html

 

Institutional Repositories

A snapshot of NHS LKS provision

What involvement do NHS LKS have in the provision of institutional repositories?  What systems are in use?  What content is included? How much do they cost to run and what is the commitment in terms of staff time?  These are just some of the questions posed by the recent Institutional Repository Survey conducted across the NHS in England.

The survey forms part of a wider project undertaken by members of the Institutional Repository Project Group which ultimately aims to identify the many factors/issues that need to be considered, highlight examples of good practice and make recommendations for the provision of institutional repositories.  While the final report, conclusions, and recommendations will be released at the end of the project (end of 2017), the survey results are being released now in the interests of timeliness and at the request of many of the survey participants.

The full survey report available here offers an insight into current practice within the NHS and partner organisations around institutional repositories.  The report, representing responses from 43% of NHS LKS in England, contains valuable insights from those with and without repositories highlighting:

  • Systems in use and those explored by colleagues
  • Resources required – both financial and in terms of staff time
  • Content
  • Evaluative commentaries from participants

Survey data has been anonymised where possible.  If library managers wish to contact a service using a specific repository system, please contact a project group member (detailed below) to be referred on to the appropriate service for advice and information.

The survey findings will be incorporated into the final project report.

Hugh Hanchard – Library Services Manager  – South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Dominic Gilroy – LKS Development Manager – Yorkshire and the Humber

 On behalf of the Institutional Repository Project Group
(Caroline Storer, Sue Robertson, Lesley Allen, Jackie McGuire, Vicky Bramwell and above)