A first class knowledge service: developing the National electronic Library for Health


Alison Turner,
Library Partnership Co-ordinator, National electronic Library for Health, NHS Information Authority, Aqueous 2, Rocky Lane, Birmingham B6 5RQ, UK. E-mail: alison.turner@nhsia.nhs.uk


With the introduction of clinical governance and the move towards evidence-based practice, there is a growing need to provide health professionals and patients, and the public, with high quality information. Developments in the health service have added weight and urgency to this need. The National electronic Library for Health (NeLH) has a key role to play in providing health professionals with a core knowledge base of accredited and evaluated information. The Pilot NeLH was launched in November and this article outlines the progress and achievements made during this time. The NeLH is based around a central website featuring core resources and links to commissioned specialist collections. Over 70 information resources, including bibliographic databases and full text publications, are accessible via the NeLH, which aims to act as a one-stop shop to support evidence-based decision-making. Much work has been undertaken on national procurement and licensing, particularly in partnership with National Health Service (NHS) libraries. Partnerships as a whole are crucial to ensure true seamless access for health professionals. Key partners include NHS libraries, NHS Direct Online and the electronic Library for Social Care. A short glossary is included for those readers less familiar with current health service developments in the UK.