Tag Archives: Evidence

Positive feedback for the Synthesising and Summarising Courses

Well over 250 library and knowledge specialists attended part or all of a training bundle on synthesising and summarising.  The courses combined face to face training with follow up activities and 117 people have responded to our survey to gauge its impact. Synthesising and Summarising courses were run in every region of the English NHS during 2016 and 2017.

Knowledge for Healthcare reported that “users value literature searches and synthesised, pre-packaged information” including “briefings that present synthesised evidence”.  Hence, the strategy identified that there “needs to be a greater focus on synthesising evidence” and that the healthcare library and knowledge workforce required enhanced skills in this area. These courses were delivered in response to this training need and were designed to develop the techniques and practice necessary to be able to produce reviews and research syntheses

The courses consisted of initial one-day sessions led by one of research and information skills trainer Tim Buckley Owen or Anne Gray, Knowledge Officer at Arden & GEM Commissioning Support Unit, followed by three half-day problem-based sessions, spread over three months, at which attendees prepared syntheses and summaries of documents in advance, and shared  problems they had encountered, and their solutions.

The Course Impact Evaluation

Feedback from the impact evaluation was very positive.  Attendees reported improved confidence, enhanced skills and a better service to end users.  For some, the course informed service redesign and helped deliver a more meaningful impact on their organisations.  The majority of attendees felt they were able to put some of the skills developed into practice.

The impact evaluation provides ample evidence of success.  The full report can be read here.  Attendees described how the course supported organisational development:

This course has had a significant impact on the library services presence at a senior level. The summary provided to a senior ward manager led to change in the wording of text message appointment reminders sent out to patients to reduce ‘Did not Attends’. On the back of this success it led to further requests for summaries some of which have been presented at MDT meetings.”

and how it allowed libraries to increase their presence, and demonstrate the impact of their expertise

I have gained new skills and confidence and improved our evidence search service. This has had a particularly positive impact on our Embedded Librarian Service and the feedback from users has helped to demonstrate the positive impact of library services”.

No further courses are scheduled at present. However, watch this space.

We encourage attendees to share what you have learned, and to enhance further these skills. Please continue to feedback on how you are using these skills and how it feeds into the impact of library and knowledge services. And how will you keep synthesising and summarising skills live and fresh? One way might be to form local action learning sets in a service or services. Feed back in the comments below, or to your LKS regional lead.

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

 

A million decisions a day

Today is the pre-launch of a joint campaign by Health Education England (HEE) and CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals,  highlighting the multiple beneficial outcomes when health service providers work closely with their library and knowledge services.

Every day across the healthcare sector in England more than a million decisions are made that have a profound and lasting impact on people’s lives and which influence the quality of healthcare and the cost of services.

HEE and CILIP are campaigning for decisions in the healthcare sector to be fully evidence-based, calling on government and health service providers to employ and make use of the skills of librarians and knowledge specialists in meeting their obligations under The Health and Social Care Act 2012.

Under the Act, The Secretary of State for Health must ensure ‘the use in the health service of evidence obtained from research’. It also places a responsibility on Clinical Commissioning Groups and healthcare providers to make use of the best available evidence in their decision-making. Arms length bodies and those commissioning or influencing healthcare services have a responsibility to promote and monitor the use of evidence-based decision making.

The campaign

HEE and CILIP are working together to support decision-makers and those delivering health services to meet their obligations under the Act.

Submit an NHS impact case study

We are encouraging all Library and Knowledge specialists to submit a case study that demonstrates the impact of NHS Library & Knowledge Services in England.  Please submit a case study now.

To find out more and support the campaign #amilliondecisions please visit www.cilip.org.uk/amilliondecisions