Funding NHS Knowledge and Library Services in England: FAQs
About this guidance.
How was the indicative guidance determined?
As an indicative figure, it is recommended that a minimum of 2.4% of the placement fee paid by HEE is committed to knowledge and library services, to be matched by employer contributions. This percentage was identified through a review of funding provided by HEE for library services from tariff.
The review was completed by HEE Finance in 2017 in response to an HEE commissioned, independent audit. It examined data from all regions over a three-year period. It identified the average funding to knowledge and library services from tariff as 2.4%.
Using the 2021 tariff rates, updating the calculations produced in 2017 based on original tariff, the findings of the original work were confirmed.
What guidance are you giving organisations which already contribute above the minimum?
The recommendations are offered as indicative guidance on minimum funding arrangements. HEE’s communication with Heads of Education of placement provider organisations make it clear that:
“An independent health economics study has shown that knowledge and library services give the ‘Gift of Time’, deliver value for money and make a positive return on investment. They take the ‘heavy lifting’ out of getting evidence into practice.
For every £1 invested in knowledge and library services, there is a cost benefit of £2.40, based on savings of clinicians’ time alone. This does not include the wider value of the application of high quality evidence, and the resulting impact on patient outcomes, costs and productivity.”
“Understanding the economic benefits and the value to patients and the workforce, many placement providers allocate funding well above the indicative minimum recommended. This enables them to maximise the benefits of delivering high quality, proactive knowledge services with the right team and the right resources.”
My organisation currently provides less than the recommended contributions from both the placement fee and matched funding. What steps can I take to use this policy to address this?
We suggest that as a first step you check on the current level of tariff funding received by the organisation to understand if meets the minimum recommendations.
Where you determine that the guidance strengthens the case for increasing investment, we suggest that you share this policy recommendation with your line manager, library champions, and senior stakeholders and use this as a tool to facilitate discussion about additional resourcing, which evidence shows will deliver a significant return on investment.
It may be possible to link funding discussions to your service improvement plan associated with the Quality and Improvement Outcomes Framework.
How do I find out the amount of the placement fee my organisation receives from Health Education England?
To understand the amount of tariff funding being received by a specific placement provider, we suggest you contact the relevant finance team (for your organisation or the organisation with which you hold an SLA). If necessary, get in touch with your local HEE point of contact and we will do our best to assist.
Are there other Health Education England policies and reports which may be useful?
Yes, this policy guidance sits alongside the following Health Education England reports and policies:
How can Health Education England help?
As always, the HEE national knowledge and library services team will be pleased to work in partnership with you, to ensure that staff and learners benefit from proactive knowledge and library services. Please contact your local HEE point of contact.
I provide a service to another organisation via a service level agreement (SLA). Does this policy apply in these circumstances?
Yes, it is recommended that a minimum of 2.4% of the placement fee paid by HEE is committed to knowledge and library services, to be matched by employer contributions.
This applies to organisations with their own knowledge and library service, and to organisations which commission provision via a Service Level Agreement
Page last reviewed: 30 September 2022