Tag Archives: Service Transformation

Different folks, different strokes: results of the STEP E-learning surveys by Tracey Pratchett and Sarah Lewis

We had an incredible response to our survey on information skills and e-learning – 139 responses from library staff and 173 from healthcare professionals. This exceeded expectations and has given us a great platform on which to build – thanks to everyone who contributed!

In some ways the results confirmed what we had already expected e.g. key concerns about literature searching included how to access resources and identifying search terms and that interactive elements and ease of access could encourage people to use e-learning. Time pressures were also seen as a potential barrier and many library staff raised concerns about the limitations of older versions of internet browsers.

Interestingly, there were some key differences in perceptions of information literacy needs between library and healthcare staff. Healthcare staff ranked concerns with finding relevant information more highly than librarians. However, library staff felt that healthcare professionals may need more training in advanced searching techniques – something which was not commonly recognised by healthcare staff themselves. Of course, this could be a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know”.

Michelle Madden analysed the survey results and made a number of recommendations which we will take forward. For those of you interested in reading the full report and recommendations, it is available here.

Here are a few selected highlights from the recommendations:

  • Search skills modules should initially focus more on introducing or reinforcing the basics of searching rather than on more advanced search skills.
  • Modules should prioritise the following topics: refining searches when too many or too few results are found, accessing full text articles and awareness of different resources.
  • Employ multiple interactive learning activities to engage different learning styles.
  • Balance accessibility due to browser capability with providing an interactive and engaging learning experience.

At our first face to face project team meeting in the impressive Manchester Central Library we started to clarify what the modules might look like. Here’s what we came up with:

  • Module 1: Introduction to searching modules. This module will outline key problems when searching and where to find help in the e-learning modules. It could also include a few basic questions to get baseline knowledge.
  • Module 2: Where should I start searching? User needs survey highlighted lack of awareness of where to start searching. This module will provide suggestions to where to start looking based on type of question, quality of evidence etc.
  • Module 3: How do I start to develop a search strategy? Will help users to break down search into different concepts but use generic concepts rather than PICO. This module will also introduce combining search terms, thesaurus.
  • Module 4: Too many results? How to narrow down your search. Searching tips such as phrase searching and truncation to help users find relevant articles in less time
  • Module 5: Too few results? How to broaden your search. Searching tips such as phrase searching and truncation to help users find relevant articles in less time
  • Module 6: Searching with thesaurus terms.
  • Module 7: How to search the healthcare databases. This will be a basic overview – perhaps with links out to Youtube videos being produced by NICE. It will allow users to apply their learning into practice.

Please let us know what you think, any comments are welcome!

Sarah Lewis
Clinical Outreach Librarian
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Tracey Pratchett
Knowledge and Library Services Manager
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Results of consultation on draft core service offer for NHS-funded Library and Knowledge Services in England

We received responses to our survey about the draft core service offer from about 60 services – thank you.  About half of those who responded were satisfied with the wording and comfortable with the content; some said the wording was too lengthy or ambiguous. Some expressed concern that the offer ‘over promises’ what NHS LKS can realistically deliver; others said the offer was not sufficiently ambitious.

As with other elements of the Knowledge for Healthcare programme, this work has revealed wide variation in LKS policy and practice across the country. But this in itself has been valuable, and we are very grateful both to members of the Task and Finish Group and those who provided feedback.

It is clear that a range of actions is required to make an equitable, national core service offer a reality – including engagement with stakeholders, putting in place more ‘do once and share’ tools and products, and encouraging more collaboration. The  ‘driver diagram’ below indicates some of the other types of intervention we have identified. (If you double click on the diagram it will open as a larger and readable version alternatively you can open a pdf version here.)


As is evident, this is very much still work in progress, but we wanted to keep you posted. Please do get in touch if you would like to get involved.

Helen Bingham, Chair of Service Transformation Group & Sarah Johns, Chair of Core Service Offer T&F Group

Core Service Offer – almost in sight

The core service offer task and finish group are part of the Service Transformation workstream, bringing together expertise from a range of services and sectors.
We are currently working on a draft of the core service offer, on which we will soon be seeking your feedback.

In defining a core service offer, we aim to reduce inequalities in access to information and knowledge, making sure that everyone knows about the benefits of our services and how to access their library service.
It’s also a great marketing opportunity, developing a NHS libraries brand and selling the value of our services to stakeholders.

We are working on positive statements that sell our specialist skills and knowledge and aim to develop a flexible framework that will fit around everyone’s services.

We are meeting regularly by WebEx and have defined a number of core service elements and are working on a first draft that will define what a number of different categories of users can expect from us.

We’ll be very grateful for your views as our timescale is tight; the completed offer will be promoted in March 2016 so we are pedalling furiously in the hope of producing a really strong offer that will fly the flag for NHS libraries.

If you have any questions, comments or ideas you can contact us via the group chair, Sarah Johns sarah.johns3@nhs.net

Members of the group

Potenza Atiogbe, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Vicky Bramwell, Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Helene Gorring, Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust

Liz Hunwick, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation

Marco Isetta, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

Jo Marsden , University of Sheffield

Caroline Plaice, University of the West of England.

Sarah Johns (Chair),

With thanks and best wishes also to Jane Villa from North Bristol Trust who contributed to the group before her recent retirement.