“No decision about me, without me. This can only be realised by involving patients fully in their own care, with decisions made in partnership with clinicians, rather than by clinicians alone.” (2)
Many patients and members of the public may be actively involved in decisions about their health and may visit the library with a specific health-related query.
Library staff are well-placed to signpost them to reliable, high quality material.
“I am due to see my consultant this afternoon and would like some information on Parkinson’s and physical activity. Can you suggest anything?”
- You may decide to print material from NHS website, Parkinson’s UK or similar sites.
- Your Trust may already have a patient information leaflet on this that you can access and give them.
- You may let them use a non-networked PC to look up information for themselves.
For more detailed advice on dealing with such enquiries, see Dealing with enquiries
- Arrange a procedure for referral of complex queries
- Make local public libraries aware of content of your stock and services available.
- Devise a plan for when they get a complex health enquiry. (ask other libraries to share theirs)
- Make your library open to individual referrals from other sector libraries – others will tell you that this does not result in floods of referrals!
- Voluntary Organisations
- Your local Macmillan team has a significant amount of experience in helping with health enquiries from the public.
- It is a potential area for partnership working.