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

Shared commitment to maximise digital knowledge resources for the NHS in England 

To create a future-ready NHS we need to bridge the gap between evidence, knowledge and frontline care.  Healthcare is a knowledge intensive industry so using the right evidence at the right time is critical for patient care and productivity.   

Spearheaded by Health Education England (HEE), 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.   

Signed by HEE, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Care Quality Commission, and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the UK Health Security Agency, the important agreement also has the support of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). 

In signing the concordat, this is a significant step forward with all the organisations committing to a shared ambition to ensure that:  

  • healthcare and public health are underpinned by evidence from research
  • investment in digital knowledge resources on behalf of the NHS is co-ordinated and delivers value for money for the workforce, for patients and the taxpayer alike
  • knowledge resources are packaged and delivered in ways which optimise their access and the use of evidence in practice

All parties have agreed to meet as a regular forum to ask questions, debate key issue around the healthcare knowledge agenda and agree areas for joint working. 

Sue Lacey-Bryant, National Lead for NHS Library and Knowledge Services at HEE, said: 

“Healthcare is a knowledge-intensive industry in which knowledge is an asset and I am delighted to see the Arm’s Length Bodies coming together, with support from NIHR, around this Concordat. It expresses a shared goal – to work jointly, for the benefit of patients and the workforce. 

“This is, of course, about improving services and ensuring patient safety – yet also about avoiding duplication.  

“As organisations, we each bring to the table an understanding of the ways in which knowledge is used in health and care, as well as technological expertise – and together we are leaders in the world-wide advancement of digital healthcare.  By working together more closely, we can really influence this agenda better optimise evidence and knowledge for health and care, with the greatest positive impact on patients and populations, and on working practice and working lives.” 

The signed agreement can be seen below: