Tag Archives: collaborative working

Working collaboratively across distances within the NHS

Early 2018, Natalie Gabe and Chloe George were both asked to join the Library and Knowledge Services Engagement Group South. An opportunity to create and pilot a series of webinars for healthcare staff working in NHS South arose and we both put our names forward. We wanted to create a community of practice to share expertise and knowledge across the region ‘virtually’.

The plan was to run webinar sessions for each topic chosen and engage both professional and para-professional staff. We have run webinars on GDPR, PPI, Value & Impact and are planning much more.

We hadn’t spoken before we joined the group, let alone worked together. We soon discovered that although we had both participated in webinars neither of us had facilitated or booked a session before. We needed some training and needed to find a willing presenter for our first webinars. Calling upon regional expertise, we learnt how to use WebEx and how to organise an online training event.

Being responsible for the smooth running of the webinars was challenging. There is always the worry of technical problems but having the two of us helped this as we always had each other for support. Buddying up has been very rewarding and fun; it just felt so easy working alongside each other. Bringing people together and giving them the opportunity to get involved has been fantastic. The fact that the webinars are live, give us a buzz, not quite a radio show, but it feels great doing them.

If you would like to find out more about our webinar project, please contact us.

Chloe George
Senior Library Assistant
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust chloe.george@nhs.net

Nat Gabe
Knowledge Specialist
Hampshire Healthcare Library Service Natalie.Gabe@southernhealth.nhs.uk

Greater Collaborations Toolkit

Can there be any one of us working in the NHS who isn’t affected in some way by a new working relationship with another organisation? The NHS landscape is changing at a faster pace than previously, and driven mostly by financial pressures mergers/alliances and partnerships have been springing up in many places.  

Does this affect our library services? If so how, and how do you survive a time of organisational change which may see the joining of two previously separate services?  

To help try and answer some of these questions a Task and Finish Group was set up to develop a toolkit for supporting service redesign – including mergers, amalgamations and the potential for ‘fewer services covering larger geographies’.  

The Task and Finish Group set about combining their experiences of having been through some sort of “coming together” to produce materials which might benefit colleagues who find themselves in a similar position.  

This group has now concluded the initial task and have produced an ABC Guide, shared case studies and background reading to support library staff and their managers through the often difficult process of coming together.  

These materials are the start and there is a case study template available for anyone who wishes to share their experience for the benefit of others. Please contribute to this developing resource.  

 The work is not intended to be the definitive guide to how (or how not!!) to combine services but highlights some common issues which you might encounter and things that will happen that you might not expect. 

 The following are the members of the Task and Finish Group who produced the guide and supplementary information 

 Emma Aldrich, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust 

Helen Alper, Barts Health NHS Trust 

Daryl Bate, University Hospitals of the North Midlands NHS Trust 

Sam Burgess, Southern Health NHS Trust 

Catherine Fisher, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust & South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust 

Mic Heaton, Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Becky Williams, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust 
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Sue Lacey Bryant

Topol Review Programme Manager;
& Senior Advisor, Knowledge for Healthcare

Libraries Deliver: HEE response to the open consultation on Public Libraries

As leaders of the strategic development and quality assurance of NHS funded library, information and knowledge services, HEE was pleased to submit a  response to the open consultation on Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England 2016 – 2021.

Our response from HEE was prepared in consultation with the strategic Library and Knowledge Service Leads supporting Local offices of HEE around the country, and approved by the HEE Executive Team on 24 May.

You will see that broadly speaking we welcome the shared Ambition for Public Libraries in England proposed by the Libraries Taskforce. We note the wide range of bodies that have been involved in its development, the ambitious view that it takes and the emphasis it places on public libraries as central to the development of communities, underpinning reading and literacy; health and wellbeing; economic growth; culture and creativity and learning.

Cradle to grave

We particularly welcome the recognition that public libraries are a “cradle to grave service”; that they are vital to both the physical and mental health of the public and that public libraries support the development of digital literacy.

For the Taskforce to consider

We present a number of observations and suggestions for the Taskforce to consider relating to digital literacy, collaborative working and evidence-based planning and not least to workforce. We emphasise that it is well-trained, experienced and qualified library staff that design, deliver and evaluate the library service.

HEE would be happy to be proactive in supporting the implementation of your Ambition for Public Libraries in England in an appropriate way, and to meet to discuss this further.


David Stewart, Director of Health Libraries North

Sue Lacey Bryant, Senior Advisor, Knowledge for Healthcare, HEE