Knowledge for Healthcare Newsletter – Pilot Edition

Welcome to the pilot issue of the Knowledge for Healthcare Bulletin for Library and Knowledge Services staff. Our aim is to bring you the latest news and signpost tools and resources that you can use in the workplace.

We invite your feedback on this pilot issue. Whether you work in a healthcare library or knowledge service, or for an organisation with which we partner, we want to hear from you.

Simply email your comments to

Knowledge for Healthcare Newsletter – Pilot Edition

Even more stuff

So where’s the best place to go when someone contacts you and is looking for information to support a service transformation project? Or if you’re starting to think about supporting your local Sustainability & Transformation Plan (STP)?

I’m guessing Google isn’t the starting point. But I’m also wondering whether a routine HDAS search is the only option either. The number of potentially useful resources seems to be multiplying. Here are just a couple that I’m aware of:

The NHS Academy of Fabulous Stuff site –

NHS England Learning Environment –

Not everything, probably not even the majority of the projects/service changes/initiatives mentioned in these resources has been or ever will be written up in the professional literature, or there may be a lengthy time lag before they are. And not everything will be state-of-the-art best practice or subject to rigorous evidence-based evaluation criteria all the time. But what they are is real world examples of healthcare staff trying to change things for the better, with people on the end of them who can be contacted for a follow up conversation.

So what do you think? Worth checking out? Or just more racket in an already deafeningly noisy system? And have you got any examples to share?

Richard Marriott
Contracts & Quality Manager
Health Education England working across the East Midlands


How do Library and Information Science students choose their sector?

CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) recently conducted a small survey of current Library and Information Science (LIS) students to establish how they make their career decisions. How do they decide which sector they want to work in? Where do they look for information and guidance? The short survey was sent to all CILIP student members and also distributed via LIS learning provider contacts. We received 48 responses.

The first question we asked was “Have you already decided on a particular sector you would most like to work in after completing your studies?: 81% of respondents had already decided upon a sector with 6 of the 48 respondents (13%) identifying Health as their sector of interest.

We were interested in finding out where students look for information and guidance when making their decisions (respondents were not limited to one selection).
CILIP was by far the most popular choice with 21 of the 48 citing CILIP itself, in addition CILIP’s jobs board Lisjobnet received 7 specific mentions and the CILIP Special Interest Groups were also mentioned 5 times. Away from CILIP, the next most popular sources were: colleagues (10 mentions), social media (7 mentions) and Blogs (5 mentions) and the website (5 mentions). There were a variety of other sources, including Health Education England, with 4 or less mentions.

As well as knowing where students were looking, we also wanted to know in what format they liked to access the information. 46 respondents answered this question and they were not limited to one selection. Blogs were the most popular format with 91% of respondents identifying them, the next most popular answer “Forums” was identified by 30% of respondents. Books remained relatively popular too with 26% of respondents citing them. Webinars, leaflets and podcasts were identified by 17%, 4% and 2% of respondents respectively.

What was interesting was that we gave respondents an “other” option and in here we found evidence that it is one to one advice that they value. Under “other” they listed: Asking established professionals, asking classmates, face to face discussion, open days and Twitter. This, along with the popularity of blogs as a format, highlight that it is discussion and personal endorsement, whether online or face to face, that students are seeking to support their decision making. This was further evidenced when we asked the students what other resources they would like to have available: “A day in the life of”, career mentors, information on transferable skills, interviews with people in different sectors. It is therefore well worth knowing then that Knowledge for Healthcare is developing resources detailing the different LKS roles in health and social care to act as career guides and CILIP’s soon to be launched Careers Hub will provide this content across the sectors.

The survey, though small has provided useful insight into how we could approach student engagement. Recent contact with LIS learning providers has highlighted that some students are already working in their chosen sector before undertaking their qualifications. Future surveys might want to separate responses from those already decided on sector when beginning their course and those who are yet to decide, or be persuaded.

Jo Cornish, Development Officer at CILIP