Report of a National Review of NHS Health Library Services in England

Title of driver: Report of a National Review of NHS Health Library Services in England: From knowledge to health in the 21st Century (also known as the Peter Hill review).

Review sponsored by the Department of Health and authored by Professor Peter Hill (formerly the Postgraduate Dean for the North East).

Link to main document

Publication format:

Date of publication: March 2008

Review date:

Summary of driver: The review highlights the centrality of library, knowledge and information services within the NHS and makes detailed recommendations to strengthen library/knowledge services so that they are fit for purpose for the future, and as efficient and effective as possible in making a positive impact on the health of patients and the population. A number of technical issues and implications are raised.

Key features of driver: The report describes four key purposes for library and knowledge services:

  1. Clinical decision making by patients, their carers as appropriate, and health professional
  2. Commissioning decision and health policy making
  3. Research
  4. Lifelong learning by health professionals.

Primary audience: The Department of Health, The Department of Health Information Officer, the NHS Chief Knowledge Officer, The National Institute of Health Research, The National Library for Health, All NHS Organisations, Chief Knowledge Officers in NHS organisations, Strategic Health Authorities, Regional Directors of Public Health, Strategic Health Authority library leads, Primary Care Trusts/Commissioning organisations, NHS health libraries, NHS health library staff, Health Service Regulators, Professional bodies responsible for health professional curricula.

Impact on library policy: The report recommends that support of lifelong learning in NHS health professionals as part of their core business and reflect this in health library strategies, business plans etc.  All library and knowledge services should meet the standards set out in the NLH National Service Framework.

Impact on library practice: Practical recommendations are made to NHS health libraries, including recommendations to develop evidence based strategies for training delivery, annual appraisals and performance reviews for library staff, addition of a statement to library staff job descriptions that staff are expected to contribute to local and national evaluations of the impact of their health library services and closer working with research departments to enhance evidence-based decision making.

Case studies / Local service profile examples mapping to this driver:
LSP Systematic Review; LSP Journal Club; LSP Hospital Digitisation

Date last updated:
August 2009

Due for review:

Group member responsible:


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