Category Archives: COVID-19

Misinformation

Resources around misinformation and disinformation. Links to fact checking sites, dealing with COVID-19 disinformation and social media and misinformation.

Fact Checking Sites Misinformation and COVID-19 Social Media and apps to fight misinformation

Fact Checking Sites

All these resources are ideal for those of us short of time and need quick, snappy answers to questions.

BBC Reality Check https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/reality_check

Channel 4 Fact Check https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck

The Ferret Fact Service is Scotland’s first non-partisan fact checking service. https://theferret.scot/ferret-fact-service/

Science Media Centre http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/

Full Fact Full Fact is an independent, nonpartisan team of independent fact checkers. Website https://fullfact.org/

If you have WhatsApp, chat with Full Fact direct to check out claims: https://fullfact.org/blog/2020/sep/full-fact-whatsapp-uk/

International Fact Checking Network’s database of fact checks on COVID-19 from around the world: https://www.poynter.org/ifcn-covid-19-misinformation/

Sense about Science: an independent charity that champions the public interest in sound science. General website is very useful: https://senseaboutscience.org/

If you have a bit more time. the charity’s ‘Ask for Evidence* ’ tool offers guidance to allow you to check a claim yourself: https://www.askforevidence.org/index

Misinformation and COVID-19

Check out misleading/false claims on social media around COVID-19: https://fullfact.org/health/coronavirus/ – Guidance on how to fact-check

claims around COVID-19: https://fullfact.org/health/how-to-fact-check-coronavirus/

Social Media and apps to fight misinformation

Facebook: tips to spot false news: https://www.facebook.com/help/188118808357379

How to check if an image you have seen on social media is real: three quick ways to verify images on a smartphone : https://gijn.org/2018/02/27/3-quick-ways-verify-images-smartphone/

Instagram: reducing the spread of false information: https://help.instagram.com/1735798276553028

RAND Corporation Fighting Disinformation Project. A comprehensive list of online tools to combat disinformation: https://www.rand.org/research/projects/truth-decay/fighting-disinformation/search.html

WhatsApp how to use its fact-checking tool https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-use-whatsapp-fact-check?r=US&IR=T ·

WhatsApp fact-checking tool link: https://blog.whatsapp.com/search-the-web
[Section Last checked: 15/02/21]

2020 and Covid-19: library and knowledge services getting evidence into practice

2020 has been an extraordinary year. Covid-19 has presented many challenges, particularly in phase one, including redeployment of library staff and space, IT connectivity to allow working from home and the development of virtual and digital services. However, library and knowledge staff have risen to meet and overcome these challenges, demonstrating resilience and adaptability. Messaging throughout the pandemic has been that library and knowledge staff are accessible and services have remained open for business, even if the doors to some physical spaces have been closed.

The role that library and knowledge specialists play in mobilising knowledge and evidence into practice has supported individual and organisational learning and Covid-19 decision making. This has raised the profile of library and knowledge services in many organisations.

  • Library and knowledge service managers working for the Trusts leading the Nightingales, developed tailored service offers into the new hospitals. The national HEE library and knowledge services LKS team has worked with this group of service managers to facilitate a community of practice to support learning and sharing.
  • Services have provided evidence support for Boards and supported the management of incidents by gold and silver command groups by delivering rapid evidence reviews.
  • Library and knowledge staff have used knowledge management tools to facilitate discussions and share learning for example, using After-Action Reviews to capture lessons learned and running Randomised Coffee Trials to share learning and keep staff connected.

Across the networks, we have seen greater collaborative working between services, for example through the sharing of expertise and supporting colleagues where capacity has been reduced. Collaborative working has also resulted sharing examples of Covid current awareness sharing bulletins and in the development of the Covid-19 Search Bank. Since the launch of the Search Bank in May, over 200 search strings and strategies have been published. Feedback from participants and users has been very positive and we are looking at what this experience can tell us about supporting expert searchers.

There has been a move to making greater use of technology, strengthening delivery of virtual services, including training, demonstrating a capability for rapid and agile development. Most services are now offering some type of virtual training session, and there are examples of development of online and e-learning modules to support induction and critical appraisal. The national CPD offers to develop skills in facilitating virtual meetings have been well received by library and knowledge staff.

The HEE Resource Discovery team has supported remote working by ensuring off-site access to OpenAthens administration tools. They also optimised access to the evidence-base by collating trusted evidence resources, with sources on the vaccine currently being pulled together, and signposting developments with BMJ Best Practice and access to e-books through the Kortext platform.

Library and knowledge staff have continued to provide knowledge services remotely throughout the pandemic. In May, 45% of our physical library services were either closed or open but not staffed. By October 20 this had reduced to just 11%. All services have worked with their organisations to adapt both the working and learning space within the library to ensure it is safe. Many of you have shared your approach, together with pictures of the changes including:

  • changes in layout for PC and study space
  • self-issuing systems
  • screens around library counters
  • booking systems for workstations.

Some services have added to the ways in which the library is valued by NHS staff as a wellbeing resource, creating and expanding the health and wellbeing space and collections for staff.

We are aware that there is pressure on library space in some organisations. Accordingly, we have prepared policy recommendations that emphasise the importance of library learning space, which will go to the HEE Executive for approval in January 2021.

Over the last few weeks HEE’s library and knowledge service regional teams have been ringing everyone. It has been good to catch up with you and find out what is currently happening in your services and organisations during the second wave. We will be considering all the feedback to identify any themes where areas for further support or training have been raised. In talking to you all it has been amazing to hear that, despite the challenges faced, many of you are still seeking out the opportunities in your organisations and continuing to develop the service through innovation and adopting good practice.

During the pandemic, services have captured some amazing impact stories which we are delighted to share some with you here. Working with the HEE Communications team, we have been using these to raise the profile of NHS library and knowledge services on social media. Please do continue to collect your impact case studies and share them with us.

We would like to finish this blogpost with thanks to you. Your work in mobilising evidence and knowledge to support Covid-19 decision making, supporting the health and wellbeing of NHS staff, and ensuring that accessible, evidence-based health information is made available for patients and the public, has made all for the difference to many lives during the pandemic.

One year on, a global pandemic highlights the importance of evidence-based patient information.”

A year on after writing our project report on ‘making the case for evidence-based patient information’  the importance of evidence-based information has never been more vital. Health hasn’t been just the primary concern for health and care professionals or those individuals with health conditions, it has been the predominant topic for everybody globally.

The coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) has created, what has felt like, a new industry of information for us all to consume, digest and understand in order for us to go about our daily lives. From following the current guidance to implementing changes to our libraries so we can re-open safely. We also have a role in supporting others in providing accurate and updated information on various aspects of Covid-19 too, to help give trustworthy information to inform their own health decisions and even simple day to day actions such as travel and socialising

The findings of our project report remain as relevant now as they did when we published it;

[1] Evidence-based health information makes a positive contribution to the health care system. The last few months has been a time of uncertainty, creating a sense of fear and anxiety for many of us. It has been challenging to keep track of the various channels of communication to identify authoritative information as well as shining a light on ‘fake news’ about Covid-19. When headlines citing ways of avoiding getting Covid-19 ‘through eating garlic’ or the assumption ‘only older people are susceptible’ to this infection, it provides for a confusing and potentially dangerous information landscape. Engaging our critical appraisal skills can help give others the reassurance needed to locate the most appropriate information or evidence they can understand and feel confident in its accuracy.

[2] The need for evidence-based health information is aligned with a number of high-level strategic priorities which support shared decision-making. The Health information Week web site for 2020’s campaign listed some useful questions to consider when looking at health information, including a number of resources that can be downloaded and adapted for local use. The new NHS LKS web pages  signposting members of the public to health information as well as included information and resources about Coronavirus which are easy to understand and accessible online for patients and the public alike.

[3] Library and Knowledge Services have a key role to play in influencing how health information is produced and delivered within local trusts. Since writing our report there has been a new UK-wide quality standard developed by the Patient Information Forum, TICK which can help us guide others in what they must do in order to provide robust and accurate patient information, one of the components being that it must be evidence based, to further make the case for this and highlight the contribution we can make.

[4] Sharing learning and experience across our networks – throughout the last few months NHS Library and Knowledge Services have demonstrated the benefits of sharing resources on Covid-19. Literature searches and lists of resources have been made widely available by local services so others can tap into more tailored and topics-specific information to support health and care professionals manage the tsunami of Covid-19 related information.

It would be good to hear examples of where NHS LKS have supported patients either directly or through those providing information to patients virtually during the pandemic.

How do we capture new learning and break down some of physical barriers highlighted in our report?

Emily Hopkins, Health Education England
Deena Maggs, The King’s Fund​
Victoria Treadway, NHS RightCare​
Vicki Veness, Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust​
Jacqui Watkeys, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
Suzanne Wilson, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust​