The NHS requires proactive knowledge services as business-critical instruments of informed decision-making. Currently there is significant variation in the ratio of qualified librarians and knowledge specialists to healthcare staff, leading to inequitable service provision across England. This means that the Service is not uniformly able to draw on evidence for #MillionDecisions. The introduction of a recommended staff ratio is a key action by Health Education England to enable individual organisations to identify and address that risk.
The policy, agreed by the Health Education England Executive in November 2019, provides a set of recommendations from which trusts and arm’s length bodies may look to ensure, and where necessary continuously build, improved staffing levels.
To optimise the benefits for the NHS of the emerging new roles for librarians and knowledge specialists, HEE recommends that all NHS organisations:
(i) review regular reports of the positive impact of the library and knowledge service on outcomes
(ii) work with the local library service manager to prioritise allocation of clinical librarian, knowledge manager and other embedded roles to specialities
(iii) take incremental steps to improve the staff ratio between qualified librarians and knowledge managers per member of the NHS workforce, through role redesign and by expanding this specialist workforce
HEE recommends that over time, all NHS organisations aspire to achieving a much-improved staffing ratio
HEE recommends that those NHS organisations with a staffing ratio in the region of the current average of 1 qualified librarian to 1,730 or more healthcare staff, strive to achieve a ratio of at least 1 qualified librarian or knowledge specialist per 1,250 WTE NHS staff.
HEE commits to monitoring the staff ratios annually and to reviewing the recommended ratio in three years’ time.
Every year HEE’s Library Leads gather information from NHS funded Library and Knowledge Services in the regular statistics returns. This information is vital to many of our decisions, strategies, and actions but the data itself is often hidden from sight.
This year we have developed a series of Infographics to share back with you some of the findings of the latest staffing and activity returns. We hope that you find these interesting and useful.
Please click on the links to download Infographics in PDF format
The Topol Review, formally “Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future” will be launched by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care this afternoon. It is threaded through with references to knowledge management and the role of knowledge specialists to “accelerate the adoption of proven innovations”. https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/topol-review
Every time the report mentions knowledge specialists – it means us!
Look at pages 11, 15, 16, 20, 49, 50, 57, 68 and 70 to see
what I mean.
Here’s a few gems:
Boards should take responsibility for effective knowledge management to enable
staff to learn from experience (both successes and failures) and accelerate the
adoption of proven innovations” Page16.
“The NHS should increase the overall numbers of
clinicians, as well as scientists, technologist and knowledge specialist posts,
with dedicated, accredited time to keep their skills up to date and with the
opportunity to work in partnership with academia and/or the health tech
industry on the design, implementation and use of digital, AI and robotics
technologies (AIR5/DM4). Page 57.
knowledge management is essential to enable the spread and adoption of
innovation, with lessons from early adoption shared widely (OD6): an innovation culture is
dependent on a learning culture. The
NHS must build a reputation as a learning organisation that values and enables
the transfer of learning about successes and failures (OD5). This can
only happen with the creation of new senior knowledge management
roles.” Page 68.
So, make sure
you’ve got a copy of the report to hand and that you’ve read it cover to cover.
Then make sure
you’ve shared it far and wide in your organisation: remember, Topol is not
about the technology, it’s about the impact of the technology on the workforce.
That means it’s important for human resources, organisational development,
knowledge management, information technology, all the clinicians and crucially your
Board and Executive.
sure everyone has heard about Topol, has read Topol and is talking Topol.
Regional Director of Health Library and Knowledge Services North Health Education England