- A monthly current awareness bulletin (HMIU bulletin) issued by the Library & Knowledge Service at West Suffolk NHS FT for the Trust Managers and Executive Directors.
- Based on the Health Management Updates bulletin produced by Knowledge & Library Services, Tameside Hospital NHS FT
- Laura Wilkes Library and Knowledge Services Manager West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
- James Allen Senior Library Technician West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
- Roshanara Nair, Library Services Manager Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Cost: Staff time to compile and distribute the updates, the majority of time being spent by the two library managers in compiling and arranging the content
People: Laura Wilkes and Roshanara Nair (Library Managers); James Allen (Senior Library Technician)
- For Roshanara to select content from the King’s Fund’s Health Management & Policy Alert which she receives weekly.
- For Roshanara to check other alerting /horizon scanning services & add content as appropriate
- for Roshanara to check and amend all the links, compile her Health Management Updates and distribute it
- for Laura to cut and paste the relevant sections from Roshanara’s Update and add any local news or additional relevant topics, and then to align each story to the Trust’s Vision, Priorities and Ambitions
- for James to format the bulletin into our agreed format, upload to the website, advertise in the Green Sheet and Tweet the link to the latest Update
Technology: Standard email software to distribute the updates, internet access to carry out the searches and Office software to complete the formatting.
Expertise/skills mix required
- Search skills in order to compile a relevant search strategy
- Knowledge and understanding of current & prevailing political, financial, quality and economic issues that may affect the NHS
- Good general understanding of local, UK and global health issues
- Ability to carry out horizon scanning or use resources which do so
- Good understanding of current affairs
- Ability to use other alerting services
- Ability to build and maintain good networks within the organisation
- Ability to align the content of the bulletins to local strategy and goals
- Ability to format documents quickly and efficiently
- Ability to use social media effectively to promote the bulletins
- Ability to utilise local promotional resources to promote the bulletins
- Ability to use web content software to update web sites
Timeframe: This is a monthly bulletin, delivered approximately at the beginning or middle of the month in time for the Monthly Board Report. There is an expectation that the bulletin will continue indefinitely.
At West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, the main aim of the Health Management and Innovation Update (HMIU) is to highlight national policies, evidence and reports which may impact on the Trusts’ Together Framework ‘(Our Patients, Our Hospital, Our Future, Together’) or help us to achieve our strategic goals.
In addition, the HMIU highlights innovation within the NHS and, specifically, local innovations within the Trust. The HMIU is essentially a current awareness bulletin aimed specifically at service and operational managers within the Trust, as well as the executive team.
The HMIU is a collaborative project between West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Tameside NHS Foundation Trust, who produce the source document each month. Tameside have agreed to allow modifications to the basic template, and the LKS Manager at West Suffolk also selects content from other sources, local news and innovations and then adds it to the Tameside bulletin.
The draft bulletin is then formatted to align to the West Suffolk Trust’s Ambitions within the Together Framework – deliver personal, safe, joined-up care, support a healthy start, a healthy life, ageing well and support all our staff.
To ensure sustainability, the search strategy will be compiled and amended to suit the changing priorities of the NHS Trusts involved. More use will be made of additional alerting services to widen the scope of the update as needed.
The content of the update is used to inform sections of the monthly Trust Board Report as confirmed by the Chief Executive of West Suffolk in his Twitter feed.
Feedback is sought each month and testimonials confirm the positive impact of the update:
‘Regarding your HMIU, I always find two or three things of interest which I then look up. In the latest I looked up Deming or die and outpatient survey and 7 day working. I suspect others do the same. It is very helpful’
‘This is very useful to me. I don’t always look at every article but do always look to see if there is anything that I have missed that would be useful.’
Alignment to local, regional and national drivers
Trust strategy (local)
- Our Patients, Our Hospital, Our Future, Together – Strategic Framework for West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
- Vision – To deliver the best quality and safest care for our community
- Three Priorities – deliver for today, invest in quality, staff and clinical leadership, build a joined-up future
- Seven Ambitions – deliver personal care, safe care, joined-up care, support a healthy start, a healthy life, ageing well, support all our staff
Library Strategy 2013 to 2016 (local)
- Promotion of innovation within the trust and actively marketing the library service to the Executive Group (TEG) and to service and operational managers
Knowledge for Healthcare: a development framework for library and knowledge services in England 2015-2020 (national)
- Vision – NHS bodies, their staff, learners, patients and the public use the right knowledge and evidence, at the right time, in the right place, enabling high quality decision-making, learning, research and innovation to achieve excellent healthcare and health improvement.
Impact of this project/service
Customer: Feedback from users has been positive and constructive and clearly reveals that the content is relevant and useful.
Organisation: Some of the content from the HMIU is replicated in the monthly Board Report as confirmed by the Chief Executive and the Governance Manager
Library: The HMIU has raised the profile of the Library and the embedded role of the Innovation Scout.
Evaluation: Feedback is sought in every issue and, as well as posting the link to the update in the staff newsletter each month, the updates are added to the Library website and there is a regular distribution list who receive the update direct to their inbox. This includes the Chief Executive and other members of the executive team. The CEO has recorded his use of the content for the monthly Board Report.
Lessons learned: This has been a successful collaborative effort by two NHS library services to reach a difficult audience: health managers and executive teams. By working together, it has been possible to keep costs within a reasonable limit and save time and duplication. The update enabled us to raise the profile of the Library, in particular our expertise with literature searching, alerting and research.
It is always difficult to obtain feedback which demonstrates impact but some examples have been provided and some new requests to be included on the distribution list have been received.
The update is reliant on the search strategy devised by Roshanara and if she decided not to continue that could create difficulties as we have established an expectation amongst our users that the service will continue.
Sustainability / next steps? In order to address the reliance on another service to continue to provide the search strategy and to ensure continuity, the next step is to devise our own search strategy and to cast our net wider to gather relevant stories from different sources.
We will occasionally also produce a themed update, aligned to issues which are current within the Trust.
Contact details Laura Wilkes, Library and Knowledge Services Manager, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Tel. 01284 713112
Date case study completed: 26.11.15