Category Archives: Core Service Offer TaF

Results of consultation on draft core service offer for NHS-funded Library and Knowledge Services in England

We received responses to our survey about the draft core service offer from about 60 services – thank you.  About half of those who responded were satisfied with the wording and comfortable with the content; some said the wording was too lengthy or ambiguous. Some expressed concern that the offer ‘over promises’ what NHS LKS can realistically deliver; others said the offer was not sufficiently ambitious.

As with other elements of the Knowledge for Healthcare programme, this work has revealed wide variation in LKS policy and practice across the country. But this in itself has been valuable, and we are very grateful both to members of the Task and Finish Group and those who provided feedback.

It is clear that a range of actions is required to make an equitable, national core service offer a reality – including engagement with stakeholders, putting in place more ‘do once and share’ tools and products, and encouraging more collaboration. The  ‘driver diagram’ below indicates some of the other types of intervention we have identified. (If you double click on the diagram it will open as a larger and readable version alternatively you can open a pdf version here.)


As is evident, this is very much still work in progress, but we wanted to keep you posted. Please do get in touch if you would like to get involved.

Helen Bingham, Chair of Service Transformation Group & Sarah Johns, Chair of Core Service Offer T&F Group

Core service offer – your feedback please! – consultation date extended to Friday 5th February 2016

The Core Service Offer Task & Finish group has been developing a flexible, positive statement of the services we provide, and the value that library and knowledge services can collectively add.

We have tested this with the chairs of all Service Transformation Task and Finish Groups, and our wider reference group members, and would now like to open this out for wider consultation.

The draft offer comprises two elements:

  • a (very rough) draft visual which represents a print flyer and corresponding website (click on the image to enlarge it),
Core service offer draft 1.6
Core service offer draft 1.6
  • and a matrix which contains the bespoke offer for specific user groups, with one row of the spreadsheet providing a more detailed description of that that user group can expect in each of the core identified areas of service. (eligibilitymatrix2.3.xls)

While we are seeking to enhance the standard service offer, and to ensure that all of these groups may access all of these services, it is acknowledged that not all local library services will be in a position to offer all services to all user groups.

  • There are user groups where a funded service level agreement would need to be in place for anything exceeding core services.
  • Additionally, there may be elements that are delivered by only one service in a LETB or geography and the role of other services is to signpost.

Further work will include developing guidance on implementation, and ensuring that the wording of LDAs is supportive of services, so that it becomes easier to deliver a consistent service across the country.

Partnerships will be key to implementation, optimising the services that individuals can access from all available providers, so there has never been a better time to form cross-sector relationships within LKS.

Please review the documents and then participate in our survey at

The survey will be open until Friday 5th February (extended from Friday 29th January).

We’d like to have one response per service to ensure fair representation, but please do share with your whole team if possible.

Sarah Johns on behalf of the Core Service Offer Task & Finish group

Core Service Offer – almost in sight

The core service offer task and finish group are part of the Service Transformation workstream, bringing together expertise from a range of services and sectors.
We are currently working on a draft of the core service offer, on which we will soon be seeking your feedback.

In defining a core service offer, we aim to reduce inequalities in access to information and knowledge, making sure that everyone knows about the benefits of our services and how to access their library service.
It’s also a great marketing opportunity, developing a NHS libraries brand and selling the value of our services to stakeholders.

We are working on positive statements that sell our specialist skills and knowledge and aim to develop a flexible framework that will fit around everyone’s services.

We are meeting regularly by WebEx and have defined a number of core service elements and are working on a first draft that will define what a number of different categories of users can expect from us.

We’ll be very grateful for your views as our timescale is tight; the completed offer will be promoted in March 2016 so we are pedalling furiously in the hope of producing a really strong offer that will fly the flag for NHS libraries.

If you have any questions, comments or ideas you can contact us via the group chair, Sarah Johns

Members of the group

Potenza Atiogbe, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Vicky Bramwell, Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Helene Gorring, Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust

Liz Hunwick, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation

Marco Isetta, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

Jo Marsden , University of Sheffield

Caroline Plaice, University of the West of England.

Sarah Johns (Chair),

With thanks and best wishes also to Jane Villa from North Bristol Trust who contributed to the group before her recent retirement.