Our work


Healthcare is a knowledge industry and in our role to enable, support and develop that, we have a clear vision…

‘NHS bodies, their staff, learners, patients and the public use the right knowledge and evidence, at the right time, in the right place, enabling high quality decision-making, learning, research and innovation to achieve excellent healthcare and health improvement.’

NHS knowledge and library services staff play a business-critical role. The contribution of healthcare library and knowledge services to education, lifelong learning, research and evidence-based practice is widely valued, supplying the evidence base to the service to make decisions on treatment options, patient care and safety, commissioning and policy, as well as to support lifelong learning, undertake research and drive innovation.

Knowledge for Healthcare 2021-2026 sets the strategic direction for the development of NHS knowledge and library services. The priorities are to enable all NHS staff and learners to benefit equally from high-quality knowledge services, and optimise the expertise of knowledge and library teams to inform decision making.

The Heath Education England commissioned report Library and Knowledge Services Value Proposition: The Gift of Time identifies key benefits of a library and knowledge service within an NHS organisation and, specifically, the specialist roles embedded within NHS teams.

As well as the work outlined in other areas of this website, including the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub, for staff, students and trainees, for employers and leaders and health information we provide some overarching services to the health and care system to help ensure that knowledge and evidence from research forms the basis of every aspect of care delivered. This include the important role we have in wider healthcare community to enable excellent knowledge sharing and embracing new technologies and transforming and improving knowledge and information sharing. Read on to find out more…

Policies and governance

The Knowledge for Healthcare Board who agree policy and set strategy and take oversight of the development of NHS funded library and knowledge services in England in order that they:

  •  Ensure use of evidence from research across the Service
  •  Underpin improvements in patient care and safety and outcomes
  •  Maximise value for money;  approve investment decisions
  •  Enable the development of a flexible NHS workforce that is open to innovation

We have a range of relevant polices which provide recommendations to guide the delivery of NHS Knowledge and Library Services.

Quality improvement

The Quality Improvement Outcomes Framework for NHS organisations in receipt of funding through the NHS Education Contract. It forms part of the requirement of Placement Provider organisations in receipt of funding through the NHS Education Contract to “ensure that there is a proactive, high-quality knowledge and library service that is available to all staff and learners” (‘NHS Education Contract’, 2021-24).
The Outcomes Framework also enables NHS organisations to demonstrate their commitment to working with and enabling high-quality NHS knowledge and library services to equip the organisation, staff, learners and patients to make decisions informed by evidence from research and knowledge mobilised by knowledge and library specialists.

Our senior team

The senior team guide policy and lead on delivery of the Knowledge for Healthcare strategy as well as supporting our team of experts in their field to drive the NHS Knowledge and Library Service from a national and regional base.


As the strategic leaders in knowledge and library services for the NHS in England we regularly commission reports on relevant topics.

The impact of AI, machine learning, process automation and robotics on the information professions

This research report explores the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the associated technologies of AI, machine learning, process automation and robotics on the information professions.

Supporting learning health systems

Dr Tom Foley has produced  the report: The Role of Health Education England Knowledge and Library Services in Supporting Learning Health Systems.  This  maps the work of NHS Knowledge and Library Services teams nationally and locally onto the Learning Health System Framework.  It is based on interviews, workshops and a review of internal and publicly available documents and is available in summary.

The Topol Review

The Topol Review outlined recommendations to ensure the NHS is the world leader in using digital technologies to benefit patients. It will involve implementing technologies such as genomics, digital medicine, artificial intelligence and robotics at a faster pace and on a greater scale than anywhere else in the world.

This work led to the creation of the Topol Digital Fellowship which provides health and social care professionals with time, support and training to lead digital health transformations and innovations in their organisations.

Other publications

We are also keen to share other published work and research from our own expert knowledge and library specialists and have collated a collection with references.

Maximising digital knowledge resources for health and care in England: a concordat

To create a future-ready NHS we need to bridge the gap between evidence, knowledge and frontline care.  Spearheaded by NHS Knowledge and Library Services, health and care Arm’s Length Bodies in England which take a leading role in producing and publishing evidence, information and knowledge, have agreed a concordat. This complements the partnership agreements which already exist between our organisations.  


Every day across the healthcare sector in England more than a million decisions are made that have a profound and lasting impact on people’s lives and which influence the quality of healthcare and the cost of services.

#AMillionDecisions highlights the value of knowledge and library teams to support the millions of decisions made every hour of every day across the whole health and care community.

NHS knowledge and Library Services animations

We have a lot of short animations and videos designed to help you understand what we have to offer and how NHS Knowledge and Library Services in England can help you.

Supporting NHS knowledge and library services across England

An important part of our role as a national team is to support the development of our colleagues delivering knowledge and library services across the country. We provide a host of products, services, support and training to those specialist, initially shared through a bespoke website.