Congratulations on your new job

If you have any questions about the information provided below, then please speak to your line manager or contact [email protected] for further information and advice.

It is recommended that you attend one of the welcome sessions offered to new knowledge and library services staff by the NHS England team.

These take place twice a year, in spring and autumn. They are advertised in the Knowledge for Healthcare Briefing. You will need to sign up to the Knowledge for Learning Academy booking system to book onto these events.   

How does the NHS in England work?

The NHS is constantly evolving. You can find current information about how the NHS works, including a video from The King’s Fund, on the NHS England website.

What does NHS England do?

NHS England provides national leadership for the NHS. Through the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England promotes high quality health and care for all.

The Workforce, Training and Education Directorate of NHS England is the strategic lead for the development of NHS Knowledge and Library Services and has the mission to ensure the NHS has a “workforce with the knowledge, skills, values and behaviours to deliver high quality health and care.”

An education contract exists between NHS England and health providers which outlines the requirements of each in respect of education and training. The NHS Education Contract includes a schedule relating to knowledge and library services.

What is Knowledge for Healthcare?

Knowledge for Healthcare is a national framework for the development of NHS Knowledge and Library Services. The vision underpinning the framework states:

"NHS bodies, their staff, learners, patients and the public use the right knowledge and evidence, at the right time, in the right place, enabling high quality decision-making, learning, research and innovation to achieve excellent healthcare and health improvement."

Where can I find more information about Knowledge for Healthcare?

You can find out more information about Knowledge for Healthcare and associated work programmes on the Knowledge and Library Services website.

For the latest news and best practice from and about NHS knowledge and library services visit the blog.

Sign up to receive the Knowledge for Healthcare Briefing to keep you informed about national and regional initiatives, training opportunities and network news and the Resource Discovery Digest covering national and local digital collection and resource discovery initiatives.

There are a variety of mailing lists  you can sign up to depending on where you are based and your professional interests. If you are a knowledge and library services manager, then please make sure you sign up to the library managers’ mailing list.

Follow NHS Knowledge for Healthcare (@NHSKFH) / X

If you are a manager, then aim to attend the national meetings held throughout the year. They are advertised via the LKS Managers England mailing list where you will be invited to confirm your attendance.

Learning more about what NHS knowledge and library services do?

Look at the animation: Why work with NHS knowledge and library specialists to get an overview of the work we do.

Where can I find contact details for other healthcare knowledge and library services?

The Health Library and Information Services Directory (HLISD) is a comprehensive directory of health libraries and information services across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Resource discovery

The Resource Discovery team focus on giving NHS staff quick and easy access to relevant digital resources at the point of need, and to minimise the time library staff spend managing resources and systems.

The team purchase a wide range of content including databases, journals, e-books and BMJ Best Practice.  All resources are authenticated by NHS OpenAthens.  If you do not have an OpenAthens account, please register for one.

The team also co-ordinate a range of systems to allow easy access to the resources.  This includes the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub, a discovery service for NHS staff, which provides a gateway to the resources.  The LibKey suite enhances access to national and local journal collections.

There are eight regional library management systems across the NHS in England, which encourage the regional sharing of quality resources.  The team also co-ordinates national interlibrary loan and document supply systems.  You can find out more in the Quick Guide to Resource Discovery.

If you have any questions about the resources, please contact our service desk.

How can I grow and develop my knowledge and skills?

The Knowledge for Healthcare Learning Academy provides a wide range of training and education opportunities to help you to develop the knowledge and skills you need, including:

  • CILIP accredited short courses and workshops
  • hot topic areas for self-guided study in the Learning Zone
  • information about career development
  • longer programmes of study in topics such as leadership and research
  • bursaries for bespoke development
  • e-Learning programmes hosted on the E-Learning for Healthcare platform

To help you to plan your continuing development needs you have access to the CILIP Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB) with associated health guidance and access to some resources for redesigned roles in knowledge and library services. 

You can also join over 20 communities of practice to connect and network with other knowledge and library staff and learn more about topics such as knowledge mobilisation, health literacy, searching for evidence and sustainability. 

To take immediate advantage of all that is offered we recommend you register on the Learning Academy booking system, Accent, which will keep track of your learning and make it easier for you to sign-up for opportunities.

We look forward to welcoming you to a learning and development event soon.

For further information please contact [email protected].