NHS Constitution

What does this mean for libraries?

  1. Library & Knowledge Services are clearly aligned with principle 3: “The NHS aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism” as we continue to train and support staff to deliver high-quality, evidence-based healthcare.  Identifying and appraising evidence to inform service development means that good practice and learning are incorporated into the planning and delivery of NHS services. LKS are committed to developing people; we support academic endeavours, enable NHS staff to employ effective knowledge management behaviours and promote critical thinking.  LKS work closely with research practitioners and departments to assess and grow the evidence base to improve health care for the future.
  2. That the NHS is patient-centric is a key theme of the Constitution.  There are opportunities for LKS to ensure patient information is communicated plainly, accurately and in an accessible way, whether through supporting the development of patient information leaflets, or helping healthcare staff to translate evidence in a meaningful way.
  3. LKS professionals are skilled in building relationships, harnessing technology and networking to enable effective knowledge transfer across healthcare systems. This expertise clearly supports principle 5: “The NHS works across organisational boundaries and in partnership with other organisations in the interest of patients, local communities and the wider population”.
  4. Ensuring that effective, evidence based decision-making is employed across the NHS is crucial to achieving principle 6: “The NHS is committed to providing best value for taxpayers’ money and the most effective, fair and sustainable use of finite resources”. LKS can accelerate effective decision-making by harnessing evidence, learning and knowledge for health care systems to apply.
  5. The values of equity, openness and partnership working described in the Constitution are echoed in the principles that underpin the delivery of Library and Knowledge Services, as outlined in Knowledge for Healthcare.

Source: Department of Health and Social Care

Link to main document

Date of publication: Published March 2012, updated October 2015

Summary of driver:

The NHS Constitution establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England.

Seven key principles guide the NHS in all it does:

  1. The NHS provides a comprehensive service, available to all
  2. Access to NHS services is based on clinical need, not an individual’s ability to pay.
  3. The NHS aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism
  4. NHS services must reflect the needs and preferences of patients, their families and their carers.
  5. The NHS works across organisational boundaries and in partnership with other organisations in the interest of patients, local communities and the wider population
  6. The NHS is committed to providing best value for taxpayers’ money and the most effective, fair and sustainable use of finite resources
  7. The NHS is accountable to the public, communities and patients that it serves.

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