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NHS Librarians can help make ‘The Right Decision’

Campaign encourages clinicians to draw on digital expertise of NHS librarians when making decisions about patient care


NHS Scotland Chief Executive Paul Gray today launched a new campaign that encourages health and social care staff to consult the expertise of Scotland’s NHS librarians in exploiting digital technology to make evidence-based decisions that improve outcomes for service users.

The Right Decision campaign aims to highlight the role and expertise of NHS librarians in providing evidence to support decisions about frontline delivery of care and implementing new care models that improve outcomes, enhance user experience, and deliver best value to public services. Today’s launch begins a proactive campaign of engagement with health and social care professionals, policy makers, and senior managers to highlight the availability and value of robust evidence from Scotland’s library, information and knowledge management professionals.

NHS librarians are pioneers in using digital tools to provide clinicians and care providers with quick and easy access to evidence when and where it is needed to inform decision making.

Paul Gray welcomed the campaign as an illustration of digital driving better quality services in health and social care.  “NHS librarians play a vital role in supporting health and social care professionals to make the right decision when caring for patients. I’d urge all staff to make full use of this valuable resource.,” he said.

The campaign is a joint initiative between the Scottish Government’s Digital Health and Care team, NHS Education for Scotland, and the Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIPS).  With its focus closely linked to that of the ‘A Million Decisions’ campaign across England, it aims to increase the use of NHS librarian expertise to support the goals of Realistic Medicine and the Scottish Government’s Health and Social Care Delivery Plan.

Catherine Kearney, Director of CILIP in Scotland, said:

“As partners in this campaign, we’re very pleased to raise awareness and highlight the key role and impact of qualified library, information and knowledge management professionals in evidence-based decision making across Scotland’s health and social care.”

Annette Thain, Knowledge Based Practise Manager for NHS Education for Scotland, said:

“This campaign is a great opportunity to encourage health and social care staff to make full use of the expert services that librarians offer to help them with the challenging decisions they make every single day.”  

Dr Ann Wales MBE, Programme Manager for Decision Support in the Scottish Government’s Digital Health and Care Team, said:

“High quality evidence is essential in giving confidence that we are supporting the best possible outcomes for those using health and social care services. NHS librarians are at the forefront of providing this evidence and delivering it through digital tools to make it easy for staff to make the right decision, for the right person, at the right time.”  

The Right Decision campaign has a dedicated section on the CILIPS website, featuring key information and useful links for health and social care professionals.  Over the course of the campaign, a bank of evidence and case studies will be developed for additional reference.


Further Information From

Annette Thain,

Knowledge Based Practise Manager, NHS Education for Scotland, 0141 531 2666

Note to Editors

1. CILIPS is the leading professional body for librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers. CILIPS funds its own office in Glasgow, is registered as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation and is responsible for all policy, financial and operational matters relating to its internal affairs and for those professional matters solely affecting the operation, development and promotion of library and information services in Scotland.

2. The Scottish Government’s Digital Health and Social Care team actively promote and encourage the use of digital in health and social care services. A new, integrated, Digital Health and Social Care Strategy for Scotland 2017-22 is currently being developed and views from stakeholders are being sought.

3. NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is a national special health board working to provide education, training and workforce development for those who work in and with NHSScotland. At any time this means NES is responsible for over 6,500 trainee healthcare professionals and also supports the recruitment of professionals into Scotland.