All posts by Tom Roper

The ever-changing NHS landscape

The NHS is constantly changing and some recent drivers such as STPs and the Carter review will have a significant impact on our organisations.

We developed the MAP toolkit in 2008 after attending the LondonLinks Alignment Toolkit launch,  to share information about key NHS drivers and also to provide a platform to share examples of good practice in NHS libraries. We felt that it was important to demonstrate how our services are aligned to priorities for our organisations and the wider NHS.

This Twitter chat aims to explore how we keep up-to-date with NHS policy and strategic objectives, and how we use this information to benefit our practice and to plan and deliver library services. Finally we will discuss the MAP Toolkit, how people have used it and whether there are any gaps and any other areas that we should look at.


  1. How do you keep up to date with the wider healthcare agenda, e.g. new NHS policy, political drivers, new strategic objectives?
  2. What resources / bulletins / mechanisms do you find the most useful?
  3. How does keeping up to date benefit your professional practice? Why is it important?
  4. How do you use this information to deliver a better Library & Knowledge Service?
  5. How have you/would you use the MAP Toolkit?
  6. Is there anything we could add to the MAP to help you make your services more relevant to the bigger picture?

Leadership chat transcript

Thanks to everyone who participated in last night’s lively chat on leadership, and particularly to Jo Alcock and Michael Cook, our guest leaders from the Knowledge for Healthcare Leadership Programme.

The transcript and analytics are now up, thanks to Symplur. Next month’s chat will be a postcard from Scarborough, reflections on the HLG conference which takes place there on 15 and 16 September. The chat will be led by Holly Case, and takes place at 8 pm Tuesday 20 September.

May #ukmedlibs, 8pm, Tuesday 17 May: now we are one

#ukmedlibs chats are nearly a year old! Our first chat took place on 19 May 2015. Since then we have had a chat a month, 261 participants and heading for 2 million impressions.  So it’s a good time to take stock, and plan for the next year and beyond. Next Tuesday’s chat, therefore, will be looking at what you like about the chats, what we could do better, and what you would like to do in the future. Join us at 8pm on Tuesday 17 May, using the #ukmedlibs hashtag.

To remind you what we’ve covered, here’s a chronological list of the chats so far.

  • Health Education England Library and Knowledge Service Development Framework,
  • The future of healthcare libraries
  • Twitter journal club on Rethlefsen M et al Librarian co-authors correlated with higher quality reported search strategies in general internal medicine systematic reviews.
    J Clin Epidemiol. 2015 Jun;68(6):617-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.11.025
  • Partnerships between health and public libraries
  • Conferences
  • Librarians as teachers
  • Clinical and executive champions for NHS library and knowledge services
  • Festive frivolity and seasonal silliness
  • Critical appraisal on Twitter
  • Apps
  • Impact of clinical librarian services
  • Current awareness services


#ukmedlibs 15 March: the impact of clinical librarian services

March’s #ukmedlibs chat will look at the impact of clinical librarians, the subject of a major study published very recently in Health Information and Libraries Journal:

Brettle, A., Maden, M. and Payne, C. (2016), The impact of clinical librarian services on patients and health care organisations. Health Information & Libraries Journal. doi: 10.1111/hir.12136

[Free to CILIP HLG members. Login to the CILIP website and access the journal at

This paper is the first large-scale study of the impact of clinical librarian services, based on work in the North-West of England, and offers tools for future research into impact.

We’re lucky to  have Alison Brettle to lead the discussion on this paper [and could any of your co-authors be persuaded to join in, do you think]


The chat takes place at 8 pm on Tuesday 15 March. Use the hashtag #ukmedlibs when participating.


Critical appraisal on Twitter: transcript and analytics

The transcript of Tuesday’s #ukmedlibs critical appraisal chat is now live on the Symplur site. There are also analytics of the top ten tweeters in the chat by mentions, tweets, and impressions. Thanks to everyone who took part, especially our session leader, John Blenkinsopp, aka @Blenky64. 

If you would like more critical appraisal with John, he’s leading a session organised by CILIP’s Health Libraries Group in Wakefield on 13 June.

February’s chat will take place at 8pm on Tuesday 16th of the month. Watch this blog  or our Twitter feed for an annoncement of the topic; we’ve had a suggestion of a chat about apps. Would that appeal? Let us know.

Paper for critical appraisal, Tuesday 19 January

‘I’m really keen for librarians to lead on this [critical appraisal] as it is an area where their skills are so useful’ says John Blenkinsopp, Clinical Effectiveness Advisor and Deputy Clinical Effectiveness Manager at North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, who will be leading our critical appraisal Twitter chat at 8 pm on Tuesday 19 January.

John has taught critical appraisal for fifteen years, and started teaching  on the BMA’s critical appraisal courses in 2002 , which he continues to do.  He has worked as an information broker, as a business researcher for the Financial Times and at the BBC, moving into academic librarianship where he started applying his business skills within healthcare.

While our colleagues at #WeCATS have held two critical appraisal sessions on Twitter, we believe this will be the first Twitter critical appraisal session for library and information workers.

The paper John has chosen is
Hickson Mary, D’Souza Aloysius L, Muthu Nirmala, Rogers Thomas R, Want Susan, Rajkumar Chakravarthi et al.
Use of probiotic Lactobacillus preparation to prevent diarrhoea associated with antibiotics: randomised double blind placebo controlled trial
It’s open access:

Questions will be posted here.