Some of you will recall that a ‘Wider Workforce’ Task and Finish Group was set up last year, and may have wondered what came out of it!
The group’s report is now available at http://kfh.libraryservices.nhs.uk/taf-reports/.
Its headline findings are that 60% of Local Authority-based public health teams and 40% of CCGs have access to LKS. The group has uncovered some great examples of services specifically tailored to the needs of public health practitioners and commissioners – but evidence elsewhere that the traditional LKS offer isn’t hitting the mark.
Disappointingly, only 40% of ambulance Trusts have arrangements in place for access to LKS, though where these exist, they are highly valued. Whilst HEE staff in national and local offices have arrangements for access to LKS, this is not the case for the national, regional and local teams of NHS England staff, and only one Academic Health Science Network has a formal arrangement for access to NHS LKS.
This group’s work suggests that the best way to meet the needs of ‘wider workforce’ organisations will be to coordinate efforts and work collaboratively, at national, geography or STP level, to design and offer tailored services. This tailoring is crucial; merely offering training, mediated literature searching, ILLs and loans doesn’t excite commissioners or public health staff. Short service specifications were devised by the group to guide service design. The group’s work has also highlighted the need for CPD to equip LKS staff with knowledge and skills to support commissioners, service planners and public health staff.
So what next?
The librarians currently providing services to ambulance Trusts recently collaborated in a review of LKS for the paramedic workforce, using the Knowledge for Healthcare design criteria to consider which functions/activities are best done once, which necessarily delivered locally, and opportunities for economies of scale in between.
Having engaged with Clinical Senates nationally, it has been decided the best approach there will be to start by working with one Senate to develop a model which could be replicated elsewhere. And we are also resuming conversations with Public Health England and with librarians who specialise in services to commissioners, to address the gaps in these areas.
If your passion is adapting and tailoring your services to harder-to-reach groups , do get in touch!