Tag Archives: models

Knowledge Management is everyone’s business – LKS staff are ideally placed to take it on!

Ensuring that innovation, best practice and learning are shared widely across an organisation is everyone’s business, but all too often this important knowledge gets lost in departmental silos and doesn’t reach the people who need it. To put it another way: people don’t know what they don’t know – sometimes across the whole organisation.

NHS librarians are ideally placed to bring knowledge management (KM) to the forefront. We have contact with colleagues across all levels and in all departments within the organisations we serve. By the very nature of our work, we usually know who’s interested in what, who’s got a high-impact project on the go, what research is being undertaken and who the go-to person is for any particular issue.  More importantly, we have the skills to foster the connections required to get knowledge, learning and innovation to flow through our organisations.  You could say that we are at the heart of organisational knowledge sharing – and if we aren’t, then we should be.

As one of the project groups in the first cohort of the Knowledge for Healthcare Leadership Programme, we were tasked with setting up “a knowledge management initiative for LKS staff to enable knowledge sharing to drive innovation at trust level”.   Widening the brief somewhat, we have devised a model to enable NHS librarians to take KM forward within their organisations.  From engagement to knowledge capture, from a suggested structure for an innovations database to the story of a successful KM initiative at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, the aim of our model is to inspire and encourage.

At the start of the project, we were all new to KM and were on a steep learning curve.  We have all learnt a lot on the journey, trying out different KM tools and sharing our results along the way.  We have realised that tackling KM is a worthwhile and even enjoyable activity, that it is possible, and not at all as complex or frightening as you might think.  We have made new connections within our respective organisations, demonstrated the impact of KM activity and raised the profiles of our library and knowledge services. We hope the model will drive forward the mobilisation of knowledge, the sharing of success, innovation and best practice and the creation of meaningful connections for the benefit of the NHS as a whole.

Now it’s over to you! Please take a look at our KM Model and let us know what you think – we’d be delighted to have your feedback. 

Project Team

Kaye Bagshaw (Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) kaye.bagshaw@nhs.net

Alison Day (Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) alison.day@poole.nhs.uk

Tim Jacobs (The Christie NHS Foundation Trust) timothy.jacobs@christie.nhs.uk

Chris Johns (Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust) chrisjohns@nhs.net

Carol McCormick (South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) carol.mccormick@stees.nhs.uk

Ayo Ogundipe (Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust) ayo.ogundipe@congressmail.com

Samantha Unamboowe (Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust)s.unamboowe@rbht.nhs.uk


Hello from the Knowledge Management Task and Finish Group

We are one of the task and finish groups within the Service Transformation workstream, and our remit is to help define the approach to improve the involvement of library and knowledge services (LKS) with organisational knowledge management (KM).

Knowledge for Healthcare defines KM as: the creation and management of an environment which encourages knowledge to be gathered, shared and used efficiently and effectively within an organisation to develop, improve performance and avoid errors.[1]

It became clear early on that we cannot simply prescribe a single standard, or compel services to take a particular approach. Rather, we need to provide practical support and inspiration for services to improve their KM involvement – by sharing the good practice the already exists, and sharing models to help services understand what improved KM involvement might look like for them, as well as the benefits of increasing their activity in this area.

The group has begun scoping some examples of good practice, with the aim of producing a “toolkit” of approaches to suit different organisational climates, or current service provision. So, if you’re completely new to KM you can pick a straightforward example and implement that. If you’re already involved in KM but would like to develop this further, the toolkit can provide more advanced examples or ideas for different approaches. The aim is overall improved compliance against LQAF 5.4a, and for those services already fully compliant but who are feeling ambitious, some ideas or challenges to take their KM activity further and, in doing so, raise the profile of their service and improve KM in their organisation, so everybody benefits.

We have identified a link with the Workforce Planning and Development group to ensure we are providing input, as clearly one of the enablers for improving KM activities is ensuring LKS staff have the skills (and confidence) to step up their KM activities.

If you have any questions, comments or ideas you can contact us via the group chair, Emily Hopkins: emily.hopkins@nw.hee.nhs.uk

Members of the group

Rachel Cooke, Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Emily Hopkins, Health Education North West (Chair)

Jackie McGuire, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Nick Smith, Worcestershire Health Libraries

Caroline Storer, Health and Social Care Information Centre

Laura Wilkes, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

[1] Health Education England (2014) Knowledge for Healthcare: a development framework, p56 http://hee.nhs.uk/wp-content/blogs.dir/321/files/2014/12/Knowledge-for-healthcare-framework.pdf