Working with Public Health and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Project Team
Caroline Timothy – Public Health & Commissioning Librarian; Gary Sutton – Knowledge & Evidence Service Manager; Tracy Flute – Head of Public Health Analysis

Resources Required
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) between Warrington & Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WHHFT) and Warrington Public Health.

A recent successful tender bid secured the contract for WHHFT for a further 3 years until July 2016.

“The Story”
As part of an SLA between WHHFT and NHS Warrington (the former PCT), an Outreach Librarian post was established in 2010. In April 2012, I was employed as Outreach Services Co-ordinator and then in October 2012, the job title was changed to Public Health & Commissioning Librarian to more closely reflect the work of the position. The main purpose of the post is to provide knowledge and library services to Warrington Public Health and Warrington CCG when and where they are needed.

I work as an embedded member of the Warrington Public Health and Warrington CCG teams. Mondays, Thursdays and alternate Fridays are spent working with the CCG, sitting with the staff in their office. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and alternate Fridays are spent with the Warrington Public Health team, again sitting with the team. The main service provided is literature searching. The searches that are requested are quite often on a large scale, in-depth, and require innovative resources to be consulted to find information! Current awareness is the second most requested service. The CCG and WPH Library Bulletins provide news and evidence for requested areas. The Knowledge & Evidence Service’s website is used to both market the service through the Public Health & Commissioning page and also to provide a daily update on the latest news items in public health and commissioning. Inter-library loans are another service that is requested and I provide all papers and books that are required. I also carry out training, which includes “Finding the Evidence”, and this has been requested as a one to one session up to now, although group training sessions are available. I really enjoy my job and am glad to be working with the CCG more closely now that we are in an open plan office. Agile working opens up the opportunity to meet more of the commissioning staff on a daily basis and to sit with different people. I like the fact that no two days are the same, that you are always meeting new people and that you get to help lots of different people with their information needs.

Alignment to local, regional and national drivers
The Warrington Public Health Memorandum of Understanding with Warrington CCG states that Public Health will provide library resources and outreach services to the CCG and local commissioning support should this be the expressed need of the recipients of the service.

Public Health Library and Knowledge Services Audit Report (July 2012)

Impact of this project/service for the:
• customer
• organisation
• library
Feedback from the two teams has been very complimentary and examples are below…
“This stuff is absolutely perfect and spot on with what we’re after”
“This is so useful, just scanned and found a few things that I needed to know”
“Thanks very much for your help with this- really useful – and at the right kind of detail”
The bi-annual reports produced as part of the SLA, show that there has been an increase in usage of the service, especially for literature search requests.

Lessons Learned
The main lesson learnt as a result of this work is that it is essential that the librarian is embedded into the 2 teams that they are working with. The bi-annual report shows that when the librarian has not been present (due to sickness absence with the previous post holder and during long periods of annual leave) the service usage statistics decrease quite dramatically. When the librarian is sitting with the teams, the team members come over to chat or meet the librarian at the photocopier or in the kitchen and often place their request for information then!

Sustainability / next steps?
The SLA between the Knowledge & Evidence Service at WHHFT and Warrington Public Health will end in July 2016 and it is envisaged that a new tender process will begin around that time.
It is possible that the service may be opened up/marketed to social care workers and others in the local authority where Public Health is now based.
My next steps are to attend more team meetings within Public Health and the CCG and to increase the usage of the library service amongst the two staff groups.

Contact details

Date case study completed


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One thought on “Working with Public Health and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

  1. Erica Rae November 13, 2015 at 10:40 am Reply

    Hi Caroline, great case study! Sounds like what you’re doing is very similar to the service I provide to our local Public Health & CCG teams here in West Sussex. I totally agree that the best way to do it is to be embedded with the teams, so that you can understand their priorities & what they need in the way of information. I’ve also found that library support for coursework when they’re on Post-grad courses is greatly appreciated, I do literature-search training & provide the link to all the usual library resources which they might not think to use otherwise.
    Keep up the good work!

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