Tag Archives: Streamlining

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

Who are our change-makers?

Are you sitting comfortably? Well I will begin……

Once upon a time a company needed to change and offer an improved service to its users. The senior leadership team (SLT) called the managers into a series of meetings and a plan was drawn up and agreed. The senior leadership team sat back and waited for the change to happen. Every month they monitored what was going on but nothing had changed. The SLT called the managers back into another series of meetings and again the plan was agreed. The SLT waited and still no changes took place.

The SLT tried a different approach. It decided to look at the informal networks that were operating across the company and used the free open source software Gephi to create a visualization of the networks; to see who the key people were. To their surprise one of the key people at the centre of the network was the man from the post-room. He visited every office twice a day with the post. They dug a little deeper and saw that although they had engaged with the managers in their company, they hadn’t engaged with the other key influencers in their company; people like the man from the post-room. The key influencers were surprised to be called to a meeting to discuss the proposed changes as they did not recognise that they had a role to play and ideas to offer that would improve the service. However, they participated positively and the change that needed to take place, happened.

The same is true of our strategic framework Knowledge for Healthcare. We all have a role to play in suggesting ways that these changes can happen. I work in the South as a knowledge services development lead; David works in the North as a learning resource advisor. We work together on the streamlining task & finish group and he will now describe how he has contributed to change and why that is important for our group.

Library change–maker David

As a learning resource advisor I’ve dealt with document delivery for a long time, I understand the day-to-day workings of document supply and have identified areas that could potentially cause bottlenecks. Over the years, I have been able to make suggestions to my colleagues and managers for ways in which we can streamline the processes and improve the service offered to our users. Sometimes these changes have been instigated by my manager, sometimes by me and sometimes the changes have been due to external factors such as changes in copyright law or the introduction of the CLA Licence Plus.

Since I joined the Streamlining Task & Finish group my knowledge of how other libraries approach document supply has increased and my understanding of copyright has also increased with our ‘copyright first responder’ training. This has been invaluable for me and for the library team. But my first-hand knowledge of document supply has also informed the decisions and recommendations the streamlining group has made; helping guide the group understanding of the library assistant’s role and highlighting areas of change which may help in this role. One of which was easier access to copyright advice and information.

As a result of this ‘three-way conversation’ between the task& finish group, myself and my manager some major improvements have been made to the service we offer our users in the area of document supply.

The challenge to us all is to become “change –makers” and work together to influence and deliver Knowledge for healthcare in our library and knowledge services. Oh and as you ask, the story above is a true one.

Sue Robertson
Knowledge Services Development Lead, South
Health Education England
4150 Chancellor Court | Oxford Business Park South | Oxford | OX4 2GX
T. 07557 256204
E. sue.robertson@hee.nhs.uk
W. www.hee.nhs.uk

David Watson
Learning Resources Advisor
Rodney Cove-Smith Library
South Tees Institute of Learning, Research and Innovation
South Tees NHS Foundation Trust
The James Cook University Hospital
Marton Road
Middlesbrough
TS4 3BW
Tel: 01642 854820

New Year, no sweat!

As written in the previous blog by my colleague David in November, copyright can bring us all out in a “cold sweat”.

To help make copyright easier for us all, the copyright first responders group has updated the information available for all to use on the copyright page of the NHS Library and Knowledge Services webpage.

http://www.libraryservices.nhs.uk/forlibrarystaff/information/nhs_copyright.html

It describes what may be copied under the NHS CLA Licence Plus and the UK Copyright Act and is full of hints and tips and quick links to help you.’

We will be adding FAQs shortly:

  • copying from national core content
  • supplying to patients and public
  • sharing copies between the NHS and higher education

In the meantime, have a look at the website and “don’t sweat the small stuff”!

Contact your regional NHS copyright first responders

North – Susan Smith and David Watson

Midlands and East – David Law, Joan Lomas, Vanessa Ancliffe, Martin Elcock, Ian Rennie

London and South – Tricia Rey, Helen Williams, Helen Bingham, Sue Robertson

Post prepared by Sue Robertson