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National discovery service

A national library discovery service for the NHS in England: Health Education England (HEE) partners with EBSCO Information Services

HEE is committed to enabling all NHS staff and learners to freely access library and knowledge services, so that they can use the best available knowledge and evidence to deliver excellent healthcare. We can now announce that HEE will be working with EBSCO Information Services to provide a national gateway to high-quality knowledge resources and the trusted expertise of local library and knowledge services staff. Using EBSCO’s Discovery Service™ (EDS) customisable solution, NHS staff and learners will get fast, easy access to the information they need.

After a thorough competitive tendering process, work starts in December 2020 with a view to launch in early autumn 2021.

It was vital to HEE that the workforce was involved in building our understanding of the primary requirements for a national discovery service.  NHS staff and learners participated in end-user experience research which informed the requirements.  NHS library and knowledge service staff contributed to the process through a series of engagement activities.  

This engagement confirmed that healthcare staff and learners want seamless interaction and access to knowledge resources, Google-style searching and the opportunity to tailor the search experience to their individual needs

The benefits the service is expected to deliver include:

  • improved equity of access to knowledge and evidence resources 
  • improved quality and consistency of user experience
  • improved use of - and return on NHS investment in – NHS-funded knowledge resources 
  • a more streamlined national discovery infrastructure.

The new service will replace elements of the current delivery infrastructure currently provided by HEE in partnership with NICE. It will eliminate growing duplicated expenditure on local library discovery services. It will also interface with the library management systems which enable day-to-day operation of NHS library services and management of printed resources.

The scope of the service includes bibliographic databases, published and practitioner research, evidence summaries, online journals and textbooks and links to expert librarian services.    

Email: NHSNationalDiscoveryService@libraryservices.nhs.uk