Category Archives: Quality and Impact

Quality and Impact in 2020: The Value of Knowledge and Library Services

Knowledge and Library Services take the “heavy lifting” out of getting evidence into practice and give the “gift of time” to healthcare professionals. (key message 2, The Value Proposition)

As we reflect on 2020 within the Quality and Impact Group, the first thought might be that it was the year when not everything quite went to plan… However, a tremendous amount has been achieved and we have really been able to demonstrate the impact and value of our NHS knowledge and library services and specialists. In this blog we would like to highlight some of successes over the last 12 months and ongoing developments. We would also like to say a big THANK YOU to all those involved in workstream activities and for the knowledge and library staff continuing to identify and share stories of their impact and innovation.

On 2nd November we launched our Value Proposition; the gift of time at an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meeting. The report explains how knowledge and library specialists in the NHS give the gift of time to busy healthcare professionals, taking the heavy lifting out of getting evidence into practice.

Jacque Mallender of Economics by Design, who led the research, will be hosting two webinars to present the report in the new year. This is an opportunity to listen to the presentation provided at the APPG and to ask Jacque any questions.

“The core value proposition is simple: The service provides healthcare professional staff with time-saving accelerated access to better quality evidence. This enables the NHS to meet its statutory obligations to utilize evidence from research. It enables healthcare professionals to use their time more effectively to drive improvements against the NHS quadruple aims” (key message 5, The Value Proposition

The full report can be found on the HEE website

“Informed decisions improve outcomes, quality of care, patient experience, resource utilisation and operational efficiencies. This is best achieved when healthcare professionals are supported by the right knowledge services, with the right resources and with the right teams and roles” (Key message 3, The Value Proposition)

We have continued throughout the year to receive your impact case studies, and over 100 of these have been approved. Working with our HEE communications team we have started to promote these more widely to stakeholders through twitter and LinkedIn, HEE Innovation and Transformation page. We are also now showcasing an impact case study on a monthly basis. Look out for the new format for the impact vignettes

Case studies of high performing NHS Library and Knowledge Services demonstrate two key enablers for benefits realization: that the service has a clear strategic leadership role in knowledge management and mobilisation and is integrated with service delivery” (Key message 6, The Value Proposition)

Although we had to change the submission dates, in the light of your work pressures during the pandemic, we are grateful to you all for completing the workforce and activity statistics this year. We are working to collate and analyse these and will be producing an infographics report of the key headlines. We are also working with our Business Intelligence team within HEE to develop a benchmarking dashboard based on a few key metrics. Again we plan to share this with you once completed.

When supported by high-performing Library and Knowledge Services, NHS provider organisations are able to demonstrate how they are meeting their statutory obligations to use evidence to inform practice and hence improve their CQC rating (Key message 4 The Value Proposition)

As we move into 2021, we anticipate that the baseline self-assessment of the new Quality and Improvement Outcomes Framework will go ahead. We are currently reviewing the timelines and dates for submission whilst also looking at the longer-term process.

Working with Amanda Stearn, we are in the process of updating High Profile Health Libraries, our toolkit to support advocacy. The newly updated toolkit will provide support materials, and hints and tips, to assist in positioning your service as business critical to your organisation(s).

“Assuming findings from the international literature are applicable to the NHS, the service is potentially already generating an overall economic benefit of £132m per annum for the NHS, delivering a net economic benefit of £77m per annum. This could increase to £106m per annum were targe staff ratios for librarians achieved” (Key message 9, The Value Proposition)

One of the outcomes for the quality and impact workstream is to promote knowledge and library service innovation and good practice. This year we were really pleased to see the outcome of our partnership working with CILIPs Library and Information Research Group (LIRG) to publish a special of the LIR Journal on good practice in NHS-funded library and knowledge services. Please do have a look at the good practice research and case study articles.

“There is growing and consistent body of robust international evidence to support this Value Proposition.” (Key message 7, The Value Proposition)

“Recently published research from the NHS suggests similar benefits may exist for the NHS” (Key message 8, The Value Proposition

We have also been reflecting on the achievements of the Quality and Impact workstream over the last five years. Our case study article on the outcomes of the workstream Quality Outcomes in NHS Library and Knowledge Services has just been accepted by the Performance, Measurement and Metrics Journal. Please do look out for this in the new year.

We would like to end by wishing you all a Merry Christmas
Clare Edwards and Dominic Gilroy

Knowing your value: describing your impact

Read Nick Poole’s blog post on the launch of the Health Education England report Value proposition for librarians and knowledge specialists in health – The gift of time at the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Libraries on 2nd November 2020.

In the blog, Nick describes how the life-changing gift of time shows that employing librarians and evidence specialists delivers both an economic benefit and impacts the healthcare system.



Innovation Awards

The Sally Hernando Innovation Awards were introduced in 2011.  They are awarded every two years. 

NHS KLS staff are natural innovators. They constantly improve their products and services to enable NHS staff and learners to provide excellent healthcare.  

HEE recognises knowledge and library services (KLS) innovation and innovators through these awards.

Sally Hernando (1957 to 2010) was the Head of Knowledge Management and E-learning at the former NHS South West.   She led on many innovative national developments and played a key role in enabling KLS staff to realise their full potential. 

Defining innovation 

Innovation is a “novel” way of providing a service or a product which has not been seen before in NHS knowledge and library services.

For the awards, HEE is interested in new ideas rather than local adoption of best practice from elsewhere within the NHS. We like to see innovations that 

  • are implemented and evaluated in terms of success and impact  
  • are easily replicated or adapted for use in other knowledge and library services 
  • offer “quick wins” in terms of investment of time, finances and other resources 
  • have a broad appeal that addresses a widespread need or requirement  

Judging the Sally Hernando Innovation Awards  

  • From a shortlist of 10 entriesMaria J. Grant (Editor-in-Chief of CILIP’s Health Libraries Group Health Information & Libraries Journal) chooses the 3 winners
  • The winning innovations will be of interest to the wider profession and have an actual or potential organisational benefit. 
  • The winners receive a funded place at Health Libraries Group (or equivalent) conference to promote their innovations. 

 The Sally Hernando Innovation Awards winners 

Summary of entries  Number of entries  Number judged innovations 
2018 summary  26  17 
2017 summary  42  30