Tag Archives: West Midlands

Mind the Gap: Exploring the Needs of Early Career Nurses and Midwives in the Workplace

Source: Summary report from Birmingham and Solihull LETC Every Student Counts Project. Published by Health Education England.

Link to main document

Publication format: PDF

Date of publication: May 2015

Summary of driver: This is the report of a project looking at recruitment and retention of early career nurses and midwives (currently consisting of Generation Y). Research was conducted among final year students and newly qualified staff showing that early career nurses and midwives wanted, among other things, clear progression pathways, care and support from team leaders, spiritedness, meaningful work, developmental support and flexibility to achieve work-life balance.

It also looks at the differing needs of four different ‘generations’ of nurses and midwives (Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z) in terms of support required for their career, and also the differing values, expectation and motivations of each generation. Generation Z are those just entering higher education now, born after 1995, so will be entering the workforce shortly.

Key features of driver:

  • Overviews of the characteristics of each generation as infographics
  • More detailed information about the workplace needs of Generation Y (born 1980 – 1994) who make up 35% of the NHS workforce

Primary audience: Health Education England, employers and education providers

Impact on library policy/practice:

It’s difficult to pinpoint specific implications for library services, as the report is focused on the work environment, and the generational cohort descriptions are very stereotyped. It may be that characteristics shaped by differing learning styles may have a bigger impact for us.

Date last updated: August 2016

Due for review: August 2017

Group member responsible: JC

Leadership Zone (Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust)

Project Team

Library Services Manager, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust,  and both Site Librarians in collaboration with the Trust’s Leadership Academy manager.

Resources Required

Funding and space for additional bookstock, technical expertise in developing a website for leadership, staff time in developing collections and promoting them.


April 2012 onwards

“The Story”

In April 2012 we reconfigured some of the shelving in the Shrewsbury Health Library to create an area devoted to leadership and management books that included comfortable seating and chairs to encourage discussion and group working.

Over 170 new print books have been purchased for the collection, many based on reading lists provided by the Trust’s Leadership Academy manager, to support courses being undertaken by staff in the Trust.

More recently, over 200 e-books have been made available on a ‘patron-driven acquisition’ basis so we only buy the titles that are used, and we have begun a corporate subscription to the Health Service Journal.

In addition, we have also developed a Leadership Knowledge Centre to bring together our leadership resources.

Alignment to local, regional and national drivers

The Trust produced a leadership academy strategy (1), and employed a Leadership Development Manager in 2011, making this a high-priority.

The Leadership Development Manager in turn has promoted leadership education, and organised conferences that has increased leadership education uptake, and the need for library services to support the leadership agenda.

Several reports have stressed the link between leadership skills and better patient care, such as the Francis report about the clinical leadership failings at Mid-Staffordshire Hospital.

Partly as a consequence of this, the NHS Leadership Academy is actively promoting leadership learning for NHS staff.

1. Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (2011). The Leadership Academy.

Impact of this project/service

During the period April – Septemeber 2012, issues from management books increased by 50% over the previous six months (from 747 to 1,118) and remained high with 1,064 issues in the six months to Apr 2013.

We’ve taken part in two of the Trust’s Leadership Conferences where we had a stall with management books and articles, resulting in much higher visibility for the leadership and management collections.

The Leadership Academy Manager has provided us with reading lists, and has also asked us to provide her with lists of books on leadership and coaching, along with QR codes so she can promote the lists to course attendees in the Trust.

Lessons Learned

One of our concerns was the breaking up of the standard classification sequence, and whether this would cause confusion. So far it doesn’t appear to have been a problem, but we made sure we had signposting in place, and the leadership collection books are identified with a coloured label protector.

The soft seating area has proved popular, but not with our target audience! Nursing students tend to be the biggest users of the seating area.

We would probably attract a lot more users likely to use the management collections if we could offer NHS WiFi and they could access their emails or hot-desk in the library, but this is something we have not been able to do so far.

Sustainability / next steps?

We have continued to build the physical and virtual collections of stock from our usual book budget, so it has proved sustainable.

We are gradually moving into e-books, but are offering these via patron-driven acquisition, so we only pay for what is used, but these will all be available via the catalogue so increasing the range of books available without taking up more shelf space (something we are beginning to run out of).

Contact details

Jason Curtis, Site Librarian, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
jason.curtis@sath.nhs.uk, 01743 492507

Date case study completed:  March 2014

Mystery Shopper Exercise (Health Library – Keele University & University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust)

Title of project: Mystery Shopper Exercise North Staff logo

Project team: Customer services Manager – University Campus Library; Senior Library Assistant – University Campus Library; Deputy Health Library Manager

Resources required:

  • Involvement of library customers – specifically students.
  • Staff time and mystery shopper’s time.
  • Mystery shopper guidance packs – instructions, scenarios, guidance on expected service levels.
  • Template of the previous University Campus Library’s mystery shopper exercise report and mystery shopper packs as guidance on how the method should work.
  • Knowledge of the services available at the Health Library and the library’s customer mix to ensure the scenarios tested are suitable to the library.
  • Vouchers as mystery shopper participation incentive.
  • Technology – Microsoft Excel for results analysis.

Timeframe: January 2013 – ideal completion by Easter 2013

Description of product/service: Customer service survey using the Mystery Shopper method. The Health Library’s survey will focus on the medical, midwifery and nursing University students. Health Library’s exercise needs to be comparable with the exercise conducted at the University Campus Library in winter 2012. The report produced needs to be able to stand alone on its own as NHS Library report; but also to be able to be read conjunctively with the University Campus Library’s report as a cross-libraries survey.

Alignment to local, regional and national drivers

Local drivers: Unwritten library aims from the NHS and the University to provide good customer service to all customers.

National drivers: Library Quality and Assurance Framework – criteria that ‘Library/knowledge service development/improvement is informed by relevant information’ – which could include the results of a customer survey.

Published literature: numerous journals articles have been published demonstrating how libraries/information services in other sectors have used mystery shopper exercises successfully to test certain aspects of the library service and gain insight into how their services are really being delivered. The public sector and higher education in particular have documented using this method.

Intended outcome for customer / organisation / library: To produce a report that can be read on its own as an assessment of the Health Library’s service, and which can be read conjunctively with the University’s Library report as a cross-libraries survey.

  • To identify any improvements needed to the library‘s customer service.
  • To provide a benchmark which future repeat surveys can be judged against to ensure standards are being maintained or improved.

Next steps:

  • Discuss and write the scenarios to be tested at the Health Library – for inclusion in the Mystery Shopper packs.
  • Recruit mystery shoppers from the Health Faculty Schools.
  • Brief mystery shoppers.
  • Run the mystery shopper exercise.
  • Results analysis and report production.
  • Act on any identified improvements needed.

Copies from stock (Health Library – Keele University & University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust)

North Staff logo

Title of project: Copies from Stock Service to on-site customers

Project team: Deputy Health Library Manager; Library Manager; NHS Library Lead;
Library Assistants – especially the Inter-Library Loans team.

Resources required:

  • Journal publications
  • Staff time to plan service and deal with requests
  • Time for service pilot
  • Office supplies for production of request forms and actual copies needed.
  • Access to the library scanner and MFD device to produce copies
  • Software for production of pdfs where needed
  • CLA website to check copying permissions.

Finance: Payment from library customers for the copies produced at the normal in person photocopying rate. Set up of departmental library accounts for customers to charge their requests to.

Timeframe: Planning September – December 2013; Implementation anticipated for January 2014 and then ongoing.

Description of product/service: Service where the library staff will, upon request, routinely provide copies from stock to on-site hospital staff/ students on placement customers who do not want to or have not got time to come to the library to make copies themselves. This means staff and students will get the information they need for their continued education and training, at the time they need it.

This service will provide greater parity with the service provided to off-site customers who are sent copies of articles that they are not able to access because they work off-site. We feel there should be the option for on-site customers to have items sent to them, though at the cost of what they would pay if they came in and copied the items themselves.

Alignment to local, regional and national drivers

Local drivers: Trust Learning and Education policy – the trust will support the continuing education of staff and the education of students on placement in the Trust by providing appropriate resources.

Trust strategy priorities – includes several goals relating to the delivery of education and training to staff and students – this library service will support these aims.

Library aim – to provide parity of service levels between on-site customers and offsite customers. Off-site customers will have copies sent to them because they are unable to access the library. This option currently is not routinely available to on-site customers.

Regional drivers: West Midlands Workforce Skills and Development Strategy 2013 – 2018 – by West Midlands Health Education LETB . Education development will not be a limiting factor to the creation of a skilled and flexible workforce. This service would support this aim by making resources available to the Trust workforce when they need it for their learning and development.

Intended outcome for customer / organisation / library: We will have an established and publicised copies from stock service for on-site customers. Copies would be supplied at same cost which they would have to pay if they came in and copied the items themselves.

Trust staff and students on placement will get the information they need for their continued education and training, at the time they need it.

This service will provide greater parity with the service provided to off-site customers (who are sent copies of articles that they are not able to access because they work off-site) and that provided to on-site customers.

Next steps:

  • Develop request form and processes for the service – in consultation with library colleagues.
  • Pilot/test the service.
  • Roll out of service and creation of departmental accounts as needed.
  • Marketing of the service as a standard service offering.