Tag Archives: Resource Discovery

2020: Reflections from HEE’s Resource Discovery Team

 At the end of an extraordinary year when online resources and service delivery unexpectedly took on even more significance, this post highlights some of the developments within the Knowledge for Healthcare resource discovery workstream. None of these would have happened without the invaluable input of health library and knowledge services staff across the country.

The COVID-19 Search Bank

In March, librarians from across the regions rallied to create a bank of peer-reviewed evidence searches relating to coronavirus, with the shared aim of making the best use of specialist librarian skills and capacity at a crucial time.  Over 200 searches and strategies have been shared to date. We will continue to build this resource into 2021. Learning from this will help inform future thinking about the value of sharing searches and peer review.

Open Access and repositories

 The Open Access CoP thrived this year, with so many healthcare library staff involved in supporting open access and organisational repositories. HEE and NIHR jointly commissioned research into open access in the NHS and in October hosted a virtual round table on the topic for national bodies. There is clear appetite for joined-up policy and strategy. There is also interest in shared publishing platforms and repositories, so at the end of November, we were delighted to invite NHS library services to participate in a project to pilot a new shared NHS repository hosted by the British Library.

Moving to using database provider interfaces

Once the decision to decommission HDAS had been taken, we quickly started work on the next steps. As part of a portfolio of work, we were delighted to receive applications from eight library networks wishing to fast-track to using provider interfaces and reference management software – and just sorry that we could only support four. The 120 staff and 33 services in these four pilot groups have gamely undertaken training and testing and provided feedback and are a pleasure to work with. Thank you!

Moving to shared library management systems

 At the beginning of the year, HEE announced support for the plan to support the transition from over 90 local and legacy LMS to regionally shared LMS, fully funded by HEE. We all took a gulp: this makes sense in so many ways but won’t be easy. Library staff and users in the South West and North East already benefit from recently implemented shared LMS and, of course, we all know that system upgrades involved pains in order to achieve the gains.

In September, we started engagement with library teams in the East of England and Kent, Surrey & Sussex, the regions being supported to move forward next. Libraries in the Midlands, where there are already some locally shared LMS, are now considering what might work best for them. Participants in our HEE funded Senior Leadership Development Programme will be working with colleagues in the North and London to explore the benefits, opportunities and practicalities of shared LMS so that we can share the lessons learned.

E-books

Many library services reported an increase in demand for e-books this year. In May, HEE awarded Kortext a contract to offer collaborative, credit-based e-book purchasing for NHS library services in England. This has taken longer than hoped to mobilise. However, the HEE-funded titles chosen for each region are now accessible, and Kortext is open for business for local libraries wishing to work collaboratively to build on this collection.

BMJ Best Practice

In the second year of our national subscription to BMJ Best Practice, we’ve seen usage continue to rise. Thank you for everything you’ve done to promote the resource to your users. For example, at the outbreak of the pandemic, the team at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust promoted Best Practice as part of a carefully selected suite of knowledge resources suitable for trainees. Analysis of usage in the following months showed that uptake in wave one was followed by sustained growth in use. This year, we have worked closely with BMJ to create resources for inductions and to highlight the role that Best Practice patient information can play in health literacy and shared decision-making. These resources and more are available on the BMJ/HEE landing page. We’ve also worked with BMJ’s Clinical Engagement Lead and Health Informatician to integrate Best Practice into clinical workflows and organisation practices.

Towards a new national website for LKS staff

 Lots of work has taken place behind the scenes this year to plan a new website for Library and Knowledge Services staff in England, to replace the current Knowledge for Healthcare blog, libraryservices.nhs.uk website and wiki. The national team has been busy updating and archiving existing content and making documents accessible. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the work to test the new website through alpha and beta phases.

Towards a new national discovery service

At the beginning of December, we announced that the contract for a new national discovery service for the NHS in England has been awarded to EBSCO EDS. Through the year we have developed the specification, undertaken a robust procurement and held virtual engagement sessions with library managers and staff. Our sincere thanks to everyone involved. The feedback and input you provided will be invaluable in helping to shape and develop the system to meet your needs and those of the health care workforce. Now the hard work really begins!

Wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy festive season,

Helen, Lucy, Helene, Richard, Jenny, Franco and Becky

 

Moving to regional library management systems: the journey begins

In January 2020, in a letter to all NHS library service managers, Sue Lacey Bryant announced that Health Education England has approved an ambitious programme ‘to provide NHS staff with a single, coherent national gateway to their trusted library and knowledge service, connecting them seamlessly to quality resources, services and support tailored to their needs’.

Sue explained that this would involve not only procuring and implementing a national discovery system. HEE is also funding an ambitious programme to deliver a more efficient and coherent infrastructure of library management systems (LMSs). The present LMS landscape in complex and costly with over 91 separate systems across England. This will be reduced to a small number of regional systems delivering improvements for library staff and end users.

The transition to regional library management systems is a significant programme of work. Local LKS engagement in the selection, configuration and implementation of shared systems is critical to their success. We believe that regional LMS will deliver the optimal balance between local ownership and streamlining efficiencies.

The journey has already started. HEE has been working with LKS in the South West, Thames Valley and Wessex to procure and implement a new regional LMS spanning 30 services, and with library teams in the North East to upgrade an LMS shared by 7 services. ‘After Action Review’ and ‘Retrospect’ have been used to capture lessons learned.

Attention now turns to the East of England and Kent, Surrey and Sussex. These regions already benefit from HEE-funded regional LMS, but with contracts due to expire, need to prepare for re-procurement.  ‘Peer Assist’ was used to help ensure they benefit from the experience and insights of the team involved in the procurement in the South West, Thames Valley and Wessex, and Ken Chad, a very experienced library technology consultant, has been engaged to help with next steps.

HEE is also supporting LKS in the West Midlands as they prepare to build on the success of locally-shared LMS to create a joined-up, scaled-up regional LMS. This is a library-led, ‘bottom up’ approach to achieving the same goals: a consolidated knowledge base of regional holdings, a consistent experience for service users across the region, and time-savings for library staff.

Finally in this first phase, Senior Leadership Programme participant projects will help library teams in other parts of the country start to explore the benefits, opportunities and practicalities of shared LMS, using models of change and knowledge mobilisation tools to capture and share learning.

Below Ken Chad explains a little more about the work planned with the library services in the East of England and Kent, Surrey and Sussex:

“The approach we are taking involves three pre-procurement phases: 1) communication, engagement and preparation; 2) formulating requirements 3) determining the solution to meet the requirements.

We recommend communication and engagement with a diverse range of stakeholders — influencers as well as system users. Not everyone will be engaged in the same tasks, but diversity helps to bring fresh thinking and challenge assumptions.

Workshops with library staff will address some key questions. What are the problems we need to solve for NHS staff and learners? What are the problems we need to solve for library staff? Why do we use LMS is the way that we do?  Is there opportunity to standardise policies to give users a more consistent experience?  Can we streamline procedures to ensure less time is spent on administration and quicker delivery times for customers?

We will also be analysing the LMS market to find out the opportunities for change and what vendors can realistically offer to meet the specific needs of the NHS.”

Questions? Suggestions? Please contact the HEE lead on resource discovery in your region: North Becky.Williams@hee.nhs.uk, Midlands & East: Richard.Bridgen@hee.nhs.uk; London and KSS: Helene.Gorring@hee.nhs.uk

Digital knowledge resources: rethinking NHS investment

Digital knowledge resources are high on the agenda. We know that NHS library services across England will recently have spent time finalising subscriptions for 2020. Those with April-March subscriptions will be gearing up for a similar round of activity in the Spring, involving publishers and local procurement and finance departments. Next there is all the associated work of updating holdings in catalogues and link resolvers to be done.

Elsewhere in the UK healthcare library staff now spend very little time on activity relating to e-resources. In Scotland, Wales and Ireland, the vast majority of NHS-funded digital knowledge resources are purchased and managed centrally, freeing up time for local library staff to focus their expertise on delivering knowledge services to users.

In England only 25% of total NHS spend on e-resources is invested nationally, and all the work associated with 75% of investment has to take place locally. Given the commonality of the resources we see being purchased locally for acute, mental health and community staff, and in the context of the principles of Knowledge for Healthcare principles relating to equity, efficiency and economy of scale, these proportions should surely be the other way around.

Open access publishing is advancing. The transition from payment for access to payment for publication is gathering pace. In our knowledge-based industry embracing the administration involved in article processing fees hardly seems a good use of the time and expertise of already-stretched NHS library staff. A nationally coordinated approach makes even more sense.

With the majority of HEE library funding distributed to trusts within education tariff, we can currently only take small steps towards this. We continue to engage with suppliers about the need for fair and transparent pricing which incentivises collaborative procurement, uses appropriate workforce numbers rather than bed numbers, recognise the value of content over platform-specific ‘bells and whistles’, and will support cost-neutral transition to open access, and some have responded very positively. HEE has commissioned NICE to procure a new Framework Agreement to replace the one which expires in September 2020 and we expect it to reflect all these principles.

We’re working hard to seek the introduction of a separate LKS Tariff which may provide a mechanism for pooling funded, but re-stacking public investment in digital collections will continue to rely on the willingness of library teams and host trusts to share costs and combine effort. The signs are promising: our 2018 survey of managers indicated that 86% would definitely or possibly be willing to pool e-resource funding nationally. We see lots of potential to scale up successful local collaborative procurement schemes. Greater central and national procurement will avoid replication of effort, freeing up staff time that local service managers can choose to direct resource into services to staff and learners, in the best interest of patients.

As we go into a new decade, the future lies in your hands. We are gearing up for the challenge of the new decade! Are we ready?

Season’s Greetings from the HEE Library Leads Resource Discovery Team
Helen Bingham, Richard Bridgen, Dominic Gilroy, Helene Gorring, Lucy Reid and Jenny Toller