Patient and Public Information

Guidance for providing Patient and Public Information

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These pages are intended for library and information professionals working to improve access to health information for patients and the public. If you are a member of the public looking for help or information about a health condition, NHS.UK provides a comprehensive health information service with a wide range of resources.

Knowledge for Healthcare Vision Statement:

NHS bodies, their staff, learners, patients and the public use the right knowledge and  evidence, at the right time, in the right place, enabling high quality decision-making, learning, research and innovation to achieve excellent healthcare and health improvement. (1)


The guidance has been produced by the Patient and Public Information Task and Finish Group as part of the Service Transformation work stream of Knowledge for Healthcare (1)

It is intended to facilitate a “Joined-up approach to promoting information for patients and carers” (1) 

[It will help] “Healthcare library and knowledge services … work in partnerships with key stakeholders to enrich the information offered to patients and carers, to enable people to better manage their health and wellbeing and make fully informed decisions about their treatment and care.” (1)  

Making the case for NHS Libraries playing a role in providing patient and public health information


For inspiration and support, librarians are encouraged to look at the Ideas Bank of best practice and the examples of case studies and innovations already in progress elsewhere.

This site also has an accompanying list of key documents and supporting websites. The guidance on this site is also available as a PDF (published March 2016) (Please note that a few changes have been made to the website content since the PDF was published.)

You might want to seek training on customer services in relation to dealing with the public. Some types of training could be commissioned jointly with your local public library service who may already know of good trainers. The Ideas Bank has some examples of joint training initiatives.


LQAF 5.3I states: “Library/knowledge services are developed to support information provision for the patient and/or the public.”

The revised criteria state that “from 2017, all NHS-funded library/knowledge services will be expected to evidence some level of direct or indirect contribution to patient and public information”.

We hope that this guidance will help you evidence your activity in this area or encourage you to develop your services further and reach full compliance for this aspect of LQAF.