Category Archives: Workforce Planning and Development

How does a badger enable LKS staff to provide quality healthcare information to patients, public and carers?

A Health Information Study day took place in Leeds on the 10 July 2017 bringing to a close a very successful Health Information Week. This free event was open to all library knowledge service staff working in healthcare and public library services across England. Over 60 people attended and both sectors were well represented. Summing up the day David Stewart, Director of Health Libraries North, said:

Summing up a day as rich and complex as this has been is not an easy ask. However I’m always tempted to tell a story and this is a short one and provides us with a neat acronym at the end of it.

This weekend I was visiting my oldest friend for his 60th birthday party in Leicester. We met at junior school when we were seven years old. It was a brand new junior school, called Brocks Hill. They had a competition to design a badge for the new school and my friend’s sister won the competition. Brock is an old English word for badger – and her design was a stylised badger’s head – and we all wore the badge on our blazers. Which leads me to an acronym which I think sums up our themes today:

Build partnerships. If you take one thing away from today please go back to your base and find out who your local public health team are – and your local NHS library manager – and your local public library health lead contact – get them all round the table and talk about how you can work together to improve the health of the local population.

Adapt and apply innovation – try new ways of doing things. We’ve heard several times today that it’s better to try something and fail than not to try at all. Two things if it fails – firstly make sure you share the learning and secondly, go back to your partners and try something else.

Develop new ways of working. It’s a bit like the one above but this is more about looking at what you do now, working out what your priorities for the future are – and deciding on what you are going to stop doing – or do in partnership.

Grow your staff. All of our services rely on the expertise of our specialised staff. “Libraries don’t do anything – librarians do the doing” so let’s invest in the development of our teams

Explore best practice. This doesn’t have to be the innovative new stuff. Best practice is out there – be shameless and copy.

Rediscover the past and replicate. I said right at the beginning of today that we are standing on the shoulders of giants like Mona Going. We must make sure that we don’t search “just the last ten years”; there is great practice from the 1950s, the 60s and the 70s and some of it is worth exploring and replicating – even if it needs a modern twist.”

Rocio Rodriguez Lopez, an Information Specialist in the Academic Unit of Health Economics (AUHE) at the University of Leeds  and one of the participants, said:

“The Information study day was an outstanding opportunity to meet professionals with a passion in common: the integration of libraries and public health to improve the population health. The presentations and the workshops were full of useful knowledge, practical advice and an encouraging message for the libraries to face this challenge. The message to take home was ‘public health is everyone’s business’. Libraries may play a cornerstone role in this process. Communication and collaboration between local authorities, public libraries and the NHS libraries is essential to maximise the impact of services designed to improve population health. Libraries need to find a way to supply high quality evidence to the local authorities about the impact of their services for public health. The new librarian roles imply the development of proactive skills related mainly to communication for effective collaborative work and skills in writing grant applications to develop ideas and attract funding.”

The programme for the day is below along with links to presentations, where they are available.

Introduction and Welcome – David Stewart

Keynote 1: Public Health in Libraries: Universal Services Coming Together – Sue Forster

Keynote 2: Knowledge management, policy and HEE: a personal viewpoint – Ged Byrne

How to use the MAP Toolkit to plan, deliver and evaluate a partnership project that is aligned with strategic objectives  – Victoria Treadway and Heather Steele: This hands-on session gave participants the opportunity to plan a project to support patient / public information provision and the knowledge to ensure that their project will clearly demonstrates impact.

Using the arts in Libraries to benefit health and well-being – Sue Williamson and Cath Shea: This workshop looked at some of the projects delivered as part of the Cultural Hubs Arts in Libraries programme by St Helens Council Library Service with a particular focus on mental health.

Health information literacy: what do ‘they’ need to know? – Lisa Jeskins: With the increased push for health information literacy for all, what information do services need to provide for the public, patients and careers? This workshop touched on fake news, #factsmatter, evidence and critical thinking. The ambitious aim was to create guidelines to help library service to navigate the information literacy landscape.

Partnership working in Wirral: Sharing learning from NHS and public library collaboration – Linda Taylor and Pete Aspinall: Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (WUTH) and Wirral Council have worked together for the last 2 years to support the health and wellbeing of the local community. During this time they established a Reminiscence Box loan service which was awarded the LIHNN Quality Improvement Gold Award in 2016. They have also delivered a Health Information Roadshow across four different public libraries. A close working relationship has developed which allows them to refer appropriately across organisations and support literacy within the local community through initiatives such as Quick Reads. While working in partnership across local authority and healthcare boundaries has been an exceptional opportunity to directly support the local community, it has also presented a unique set of challenges. This session presents the learning from the perspectives of both organisations and discusses their future plans.

Health and wellbeing opportunities in libraries: experiences from the Doncaster NHS and Public Library partnership – Janet Sampson and Nick Stopforth: Overview of the health and wellbeing initiatives in Doncaster, focusing particularly on the Reading Well Books on Prescription schemes and NHS library staff delivering training and providing resources to public library staff to answer health information enquiries. There was then the opportunity for workshop attendees to explore and share how they would take this forward in their own areas – making connections, working together and delivering on the patient and public health information agenda.

Regenerating the Public Library Health Offer – Julie Spencer: This session looked at new strands adding energy and momentum to the Universal Health Offer at national and local level. These new areas of work will help to build new local partnerships and profile for library services and support access to new funding to revitalise activity. They are:

  • Reading Well: Books on Prescription for long term conditions
  • Reading Friends, empowering, engaging and connecting with older people, people with dementia and carers by starting conversations with reading. Pilot projects, materials and evaluation methods for this programme
  • Health information networks. Delivering health information and improving health literacy in partnership.

How can Libraries support Recovery Colleges? – Sarah Hennessy: This workshop outlined how Sarah worked with recovery colleges in her locality including supporting volunteer staff, collections management and literature searches.

The “Engaging Libraries” scheme – public engagement with a health and wellbeing focus (plus supporting notes) – Andy Wright: Based on the work done between SCL and the Wellcome Trust in the first half of 2016, the Engaging Libraries scheme is a unique opportunity for the public library sector to demonstrate to philanthropic organisations that we can be innovative and are worth investing in. Those attending this session learnt more about the Engaging Libraries scheme, what public engagement means to organisations like the Wellcome Trust, the difference between public engagement and health promotion, and there was even  a lesson on how to have “idea sex”. Applications for the scheme are open from now until August 23rd to apply for £5,000 to £15,000 with projects taking place between October 2017 and September 2018.

Feedback – what participants have said they will do differently as a result of attending the event

“I will make contact with our health librarian at our local hospital and see what we can do to support her and vice versa. I will explore some of the ideas that I have had and those that were suggested at the study day.”

“I went away to look at Recovery Colleges as I knew very little about them before and it was obvious there is a lot of opportunity for health libraries here.”

“I now have some very practical tips on partnership working and although I was already aware of the MAP Toolkit, I now feel confident to use it in planning, implementing and evaluating future projects. “

“I will take back the learning, especially from the workshops, and look at what we can do in our service to bring about closer working with public health colleagues “

“Have made contact with a PL collegeague and invited to visit; will revisit Making Every Contact Count to see if useful for STPs, joint training with PL, Trust HWB agenda”

“Will try to contact public health department to see if we can work together – already working with public library service.”

Gil Young
NHS LKS Workforce Development Manager North
NHS Health Care Libraries Unit – North


DNA – it’s in your system?

Actually not that kind of DNA at all – but we wanted to get your attention.

Our DNA is the Development Needs Analysis.  Cast your mind back to Christmas last year when we asked all health library staff to complete a survey of development needs to help us plan for the flexible, well-trained workforce we need for the future.  758 of you completed the survey.  The best response rate we have ever had. Thank you!

The project group leading the DNA has now completed their analysis of your responses and comments and produced their final report. The report has been through the Knowledge for Healthcare Workforce Planning and Development Group and the LKS Leads Group – and has been signed off by both. Phew!

So here it is for you to read.

So what next?

Well, there is no point in asking for people to say what they want if we don’t do anything about it. The good news is that lots of the things you have asked for are already in hand:

The DNA data has been shared with LKS Leads and their teams to determine what learning opportunities need to be prioritised regionally. LKS Leads are also looking at how to take the DNA forward at a national level and will be publishing a response that looks at the top ten / top nineteen development needs. Watch this space!

Finally, thank you to the project group:


Abi Alayo

Michael Cook

Uma Devalapalli

Sarah Hennessy

Lisa McLaren

Katy Oak


David Stewart

Chair: Workforce Planning and Development Working Group

HEE/CILIP Leadership Development Programme – Apply Now!!

What is the HEE/CILIP Leadership Development Programme? This programme is being delivered with CILIP, on behalf of Health Education England. It has been designed to strengthen our capability to lead the ambitious changes envisioned within Knowledge for Healthcare. We are now recruiting to our second cohort. 23 individuals participated in the first programme, some of whom are quoted below.

“Course has given me more self-confidence as a leader and the confidence to start putting things into practice”

 “Action Learning Sets [are] a great way to get to know your project team and work through difficult issues in the workplace in a safe space”

“The project work has also been a superb learning and growth opportunity. Knowing that the work I’m doing actually has the potential to change how librarians across my region work has both made [me] appreciate what I’m doing more and helped me to broaden my thinking about health libraries.”

Who is it for? The programme is tailored specifically for library knowledge service staff working in healthcare services across England. It is not just for those with formal leadership responsibility; it is for those who wish to develop and strengthen their effectiveness as they take on a variety of leadership roles and responsibilities. Whilst we welcome applications from all experience levels we believe it will be of most benefit to individuals who have some leadership experience in their professional or personal life and are looking to build on this for their future career.

Learning outcomes: By the end of the programme, participants will be able to:

  • Identify different leadership styles and reflect on their appropriateness in different situations
  • Reflect on their own preferred personal leadership style and its effectiveness in different working environments to influence and inspire others
  • Appreciate approaches to strategic thinking, change management and evaluation
  • Understand the importance of stakeholder engagement and the requirements of project management
  • Build upon experience, skills and knowledge developed through the programme and engagement with a wide range of experienced professionals to drive innovation and improvement;
  • Identify their leadership development needs and  consider how to address these, and understand the opportunities available through the NHS Leadership Academy

Programme details: The programme utilises different methods of learning, including face-to-face and virtual elements. There is a combination of workshops, webinars, videos, reading and discussions relating to leadership throughout the programme. In addition to these opportunities, each participant will take an active role in:

Group project work – delivering an assigned project, with others, on behalf of Knowledge for Healthcare. The group project will enable individuals to strengthen their leadership skills to deliver a piece of work, and implement change, as well as enabling experience of leading within the group environment. This year’s projects will be focused on mobilising evidence and organisational knowledge.

Action Learning Sets – held throughout the programme, the action learning sets will develop your coaching skills (specifically active listening and effective questioning), enable you to strengthen your network and provide support for your group project work and personal development.

Personal development planning will focus predominantly on using the relevant areas of the Professional Knowledge and Skills Base for Health to identify needs and approaches to address these, individually and through the organisation.

Compulsory elements: All participants are required to take part in each of the following elements of the programme:

Attend all the workshops and action learning set sessions (one day for each of the four sets i.e. November, February, May and July – the day you attend will depend on which group project you are assigned).

11 October 2017 Court Room, University of London, Senate House, LGF, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU
11 January 2018 Bristol, exact venue tbc
19 April 2018 Room 2.14, Health Education England, Willow Terrace Road, Leeds LS2 9JT
11 September 2018 Rooms 8&9, 1st floor Events Centre, Stewart House, Russell Square, London WC1B 5DN


Action Learning Sets
Set 1 (The exact action learning sets session you attend will depend on which project group you are working with) 06 November 2017 Room 6, Events Centre, 1st floor, Stewart House, Russell Square, London WC1B 5DN
07 November 2017 Room 8A, Events Centre, 1st floor, Stewart House, Russell Square, London WC1B 5DN
08 November 2017 Room 8A, Events Centre, 1st floor, Stewart House, Russell Square, London WC1B 5DN
09 November 2017 Seminar Room, Bloomsbury Healthcare Library, Bonham Carter House, 52-54 Gower Street, London WC1E 6EB
Set 2 (The exact action learning sets session you attend will depend on which project group you are working with) 05 February 2018 Lostock B, Health Education England, 3 Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3BN
06 February 2018 Lostock B, Health Education England, 3 Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3BN
07 February 2018 Lostock B, Health Education England, 3 Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3BN
08 February 2018 Lostock B, Health Education England, 3 Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3BN
Set 3 (The exact action learning sets session you attend will depend on which project group you are working with) 21 May 2018 Room 216, Health Education England, Willow Terrace Road, Leeds LS2 9JT
22 May 2018 Room 216, Health Education England, Willow Terrace Road, Leeds LS2 9JT
23 May 2018 Room 216, Health Education England, Willow Terrace Road, Leeds LS2 9JT
24 May 2018 Room 216, Health Education England, Willow Terrace Road, Leeds LS2 9JT
Set 4 (The exact action learning sets session you attend will depend on which project group you are working with) 16 July 2018 Russell Room, Events Centre, 1st floor, Stewart House, Russell Square, London WC1B 5DN
17 July 2018 Russell Room, Events Centre, 1st floor, Stewart House, Russell Square, London WC1B 5DN
18 July 2018 Russell Room, Events Centre, 1st floor, Stewart House, Russell Square, London WC1B 5DN
19 July 2018 Russell Room, Events Centre, 1st floor, Stewart House, Russell Square, London WC1B 5DN

Participate in WebEx webinars (or watch recordings if unable to attend live).

Recommended event: In addition to the dates above it is recommend that you attend the 2018 CILIP conference which is pencilled in for 4-5 July next year.

Resource commitment:
Time: We estimate that individuals will need to set aside 2-3 days per month, to engage in the programme and meet their personal development needs. At times through the year the project plan agreed by each group may require a greater commitment.

Costs: This programme is being funded by HEE as part of its commitment to implementing Knowledge for Healthcare. There is no direct fee for taking part. All delegates are expected to make their own arrangements to cover the cost of travel and accommodation, as needed. See also the HEE Statement regarding travel or accommodation expenses.

Ready to apply? Then download the application process document to proceed.

Still thinking about it? Then see what one of the previous participant’s has to say about the experience.

Questions? Contact Gil Young