Case Study: Starting an Outreach Librarian Service Especially to Support the Introduction of Medical Revalidation by Peta Jones

What did you do?

I made contact with as many people as possible. I shadowed another NHS librarian, attended LIHNN meetings and courses and attended Trust committees.  I worked closely with the HR representative responsible for the administrative implementation of revalidation and this led to being invited to attend all of the Trust Revalidation Committee meetings, training and information events to promote the support I could offer the doctors.  I attended meetings with my manager to introduce the outreach services and was asked to provide monthly training sessions to the Midwifery department.  I contacted Department and Education Leads offering to review books in their department with a view to updating their stock (a little bit of bribery!) and at those reviews promoted the outreach service leading to requests for training.

I developed specialised resources.  I distributed a revalidation bulletin detailing the legal requirements for revalidation, signposting specialist resources and offering KLS support to all Trust Doctors.  This led to the development of a revalidation web page embedded in the KLS web pages.  I produced subject guides in close partnership with departments.

As a service we continually try to raise the profile of the KLS within the Trust.  I wrote an article about my project for our in-house magazine, had a leaflet about the outreach service printed and helped develop our online presence, ensuring our resources and services were available on the internet.  Other marketing has included displays, posters and email signatures.


What worked? 

Having expertise in the requirements for the new, compulsory revalidation and being able to use Revalidation as a driver for promoting the KLS services.

Gathering all the revalidation information (national and Trust-specific) together in one place using the bulletin and web pages.

Being presented as a solution/support by contemporaries/superiors.  Much of the training I have done has been put in place by heads of departments.  Therefore people were receptive to the support I offered and the training was tailored to their needs.


What didn’t work?

A traditional ward round clinical librarian/outreach service. Departments have been reluctant to take up this model for various reasons and services we could offer on a ward are currently limited. Many of our service users felt that their time constraints restrict the usefulness of my being on the ward unless as part of a training session.

Reliance on a single method of communication.  Email is not always an effective method of establishing contact with someone.


What did you learn?

Information needs to be well targeted,  highly relevant and sent at the right time.  This can be luck!  Clinicians expect us to only send them tailored information. Consider other pressures on their time.

Personal recommendation and face-to-face meetings are more fruitful in results but harder to get in the first place!

Learn to persevere!  It can take a long time to arrange meetings and training sessions at mutually convenient times.  Meetings also get cancelled at the last minute due to other more pressing demands.  If one approach doesn’t work, try another.  Look for alternative ways of providing a service.  Be prepared to do things differently.

Be prepared.  You may have little notice of a training session so make sure if you have offered to deliver training, you are ready to do so.

Have a supportive professional network.  Good relationships with other KLS and Trust staff and North West colleagues have been invaluable.


What are your “next steps”

We are approaching teams involved with clinical governance and patient information leaflets offering our literature searching services.

We are widening the outreach service to include the development of our website and social media.

We would like to be able to offer more responsive KLS support, for example using IPads to search for evidence during a ward round.  At present however, our IT infrastructure will not support this.

Peta Jones
Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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1 Response to Case Study: Starting an Outreach Librarian Service Especially to Support the Introduction of Medical Revalidation by Peta Jones

  1. Mathew Stone says:

    Thanks Peta, this was really useful to read about. In my role I have responsibility for literature searching and I wonder if there was any demand for this type of service?

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