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NHS library staff in England may copy and share extracts from most printed and digital work in these ways:

1. CLA Licence Plus

This is the agreement signed between the Copyright Licensing Agency and the Department of Health and Social Care for the NHS in England.

Download and display the licence  and the Copying Guidelines poster.

Contact [email protected] for the licence or poster in an accessible format.

Use the Check Permissions Tool to find out whether what you want to copy is covered by the Licence.

Woman in library holding books
A member of Trust staff aware of the provisions of the NHS' CLA Licence

2. Copyright Act & ‘Library Privilege’

If copies cannot be made under CLA Licence Plus, NHS library staff may supply copies under terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988. This includes digital as well as printed works.

See also The British Library’s help about Library Privilege.

Further help and support

Briefing for library staff on Library and inter-library document supply and copyright in the NHS (updated July 2020).  This explains:

  • When to use the Licence Plus-
  • When to use Library Privilege
  • Wording to use when supplying articles under both routes
  • When and how to obtain copyright fee paid (CFP) articles

Decision Tree (updated July 2018) / NHS Copy Aid A flow chart and interactive tool to help you decide when you need a Licence copy, when you need a Library Privilege copy, and when you need a Copyright Fee Paid (CFP) copy.

NHS-HE crossover copyright queries: guidance for higher education and NHS Library staff (Updated July 2018)

CILIP Copyright Hub

If you require further advice on copyright-related matters, contact the NHS Copyright First Responders at

[email protected].

Contact [email protected] for any of the briefing, decision tree and guidance in an accessible format.

Page last reviewed: 15 June 2021