The 3rd one day conference was held at the ABAX Stadium in Peterborough.
Colleagues from the Eastern region and East and West Midlands converged to share their experiences of collaboration and partnerships.
Ruth Carlyle (Head of Library and Knowledge Services across the region) opened the proceedings.
David Farrelly, Regional Director for Midlands and East Health Education England, gave the keynote speech. He talked about need to champion our services and accomplishments.
Doug Knock – (Library & Knowledge Services Manager at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) – talked about the Impact Toolkit and the differences between feedback and impact. About collecting evidence and then using the evidence you have, rather than collecting info/data for the sake of it. The Gumi Bear of Evidence was making its final appearance at this conference.
Several presentations and activities over the day had particular resonance for me.
Mo Hussain and Wendy Marsh – East of England, Public Health England – on supporting Collaboration Between the Public Health Community & NHS Libraries. Using bespoke software to tailor services, providing access for local authority public health teams to EBSCO Discovery, Public Health England e-journal content, training guides and KM events.
From our East Region Peter Ransome – Library Manager, James Paget Library and Ali Thayne – Dementia Care Lead, gave an excellent demonstration of collaboration at its best. The library works with local public library services, Alzheimer’s Society, MP’s, local voluntary services. Within the dementia team the library attend meetings, run literature searches, purchase tailored resources, current awareness services and support initiatives within the team/hospital. From Ali’s perspective evidence of literature searches had provided evidence to buy realistic new born baby dolls and dignity gowns for patients (like a Onesy with fastenings at the back).
Lunch – post lunch presentation on voluntary services, information and patients – Ruth Carlyle. Ruth highlighted the challenges the NHS is facing and why greater collaboration and partnership is needed.Patients and the public need access to information to support decision making for themselves and families. A quite sad statistic – 42% of over 16 year olds do not understand general health information. Ruth mentioned the Information Standard Kite Mark, an identifier to show information that is clear, accurate, evidence-based, up-to-date and easy to use. Health libraries, charities, voluntary organisations, local authorities etc. can work together to help promote this.
Then small breakout sessions.
I attended Ian Rennie – (LKS Manager Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust) Pop -Up Libraries – the Medical Library at Cambridge hosts regular pop up libraries – however we have a different interpretation to the term. Ian has a ‘Library in a Box’ which he takes to teams on pre-arranged visits. The box contains books, training materials, library guides for example. Ian stays with the team to answer queries, provide training where appropriate and be the face of the library. Ian has a very distributed user base. Here at the Medical Library in Cambridge we take publicity and information materials into the main hospital concourse to highlight that there is a library service that NHS can utilise and raise awareness of the services available. So a different interpretation of a Pop Up library.
Photograph below is the Cambridge Medical Library take on Pop Up Library, taking a portable display, leflets, range of books, goodies into the main concourse to raise awareness with NHS staff of the library service and what it can offer and mean to them.
My next break out session was run by Pip Divall – (Clinical Librarian, Leicester) – Sharing Best Practice. Discussion ensued on the definition of best practice – relevant, timely, efficient, how to share ideas – conferences, meetings, social media, LQAF, can do cafe and that it is OK to mention your failures as well success, view it as a learning opportunity. We can’t always get things right 100% all of the time.
The final session for me was CA$H! – Current Awareness Service for Health – a collaborative service provided by a network of library and information staff who monitor and capture content across a range of subject areas.
Then closing remarks and prize giving. The East of England were well represented in poster submissions, amongst the regional libraries Colchester General Hospital Library and the Warner Library at Mid Essex Hospital, as did our Library Manager Isla and myself and a colleague – great to have our work recognised.
The theme of partnership and collaboration was excellent and timely. Libraries are very outward facing and recognise the strength of external relationships with other depts. and organisations. In times of cut backs and making your brand more recognised it can make a substantial difference.
The presentations and workshops fitted the theme well. Standouts for me are Public Heath England’s work with public libraries, working with the voluntary section and providing patient information, a different view of pop up libraries and Peters presentation on working with the dementia team and it illustrates how much we plan and aim for such working partnerships the timing on both sides needs to be right.