Dorset County Hospital Case Study

Dorset County Hospital [DCH] Library decided to take the plunge into the rather unknown world of providing information to the public with two manned displays this month.

I work on a casual basis for the Public Library Service, as well as being one of the Librarians here at DCH so it was fairly easy to plan an initiative in the Public Library foyer.  

Having attended the excellent workshop on ‘supporting patients and the public’ at Musgrove Park Hospital in January, I was armed with ideas for sourcing leaflets.

So I gathered together quite a few health promotion leaflets from Public Health England and the British Heart Foundation.  

We were also pleased to have been able to adapt (and acknowledge!) leaflet templates from Musgrove Park Hospital and East Cheshire NHS Trust to produce a nice leaflet of our own on ‘Finding Good Quality Health Information on the Internet’ which proved very popular.  

I chose a Monday morning for the display knowing that this is a particularly busy time in the Public Library and I wasn’t disappointed!

As usual with this sort of thing there had to be a bit of stepping forward to greet folk rather than waiting to be approached, but people seemed interested and I was pleased to be able demonstrate NHS Choices to quite a few.  

Another nice aspect was that I was sharing the space that morning with the Police Contact Point desk as well as the Dorset Partnership for Older People stand.  There was a certain amount of sharing of leaflets and experiences of talking to the general public 

It was a good event, and for me I felt that getting across the ‘safe internet searching’ message was the most useful aspect.

A good number of people still won’t go near a computer but will often ask relatives to look things up for them, so taking away the ‘safe searching’ leaflet was still relevant.  

I set the same display up in the hospital restaurant on our local market day, which is when the restaurant is usually well used by the public.

For once there seemed to be more members of staff passing by than members of the public! The usual story of life never being predictable.  

All this will be good preparation for setting up a display in July for ‘Health Information Week’. No doubt time will fly, so there is no time like the present for ordering leaflets and booking a space!  

Pat Gallagher
Librarian
Dorset County Hospital

The Swimming Pool, April 2017, Issue 94