Knowledge for healthcare: Mobilising evidence; sharing knowledge; improving outcomes

In January 2021 Health Education England’s national Knowledge and Library Services team published Knowledge for Healthcare: Mobilising evidence; sharing knowledge; improving outcomes.

The strategy sets the direction for the development of NHS knowledge and library services in England. 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 from board to ward, at the bedside and in community and primary care.

Health Education England aspires to lead the development of world-class knowledge services, optimising the use of evidence from research and knowledge for policy and practice, enabling excellent healthcare and health improvement. Demand for knowledge services has grown over the last five years, with a 30% increase in service users.

Health Education England will work with partners to ensure equity of access and opportunity delivered by:

  • The right resources: Commitment to achieving equitable and sustainable funding for NHS knowledge and library services while giving systems value for money.
  • The right team with the right roles: Services with more knowledge specialists work with more teams, releasing more time for care, having a greater impact on patient care.
  • The right services: Knowledge services for all, built on the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion. 

To do this, Health Education England will continue to:

  • invest in a high quality digital knowledge infrastructure to meet the requirements of staff and learners
  • empower the NHS knowledge and library services workforce with the skills and confidence to deliver the ambition
  • shape forward-looking and innovative health knowledge and information services

There is also renewed focus on mobilising evidence and knowledge, assuring the quality of knowledge services and improving health literacy.

Excellent knowledge services require strategic buy-in, collaboration and commitment to maximise investment, nationally, locally and across health systems.  Health Education England is committed to working with stakeholders and partner organisations.

Health Education England will continue to advocate that boards strengthen their capability to manage knowledge and mobilise evidence, getting the right expertise, roles and resources in place to realise the business benefits of NHS knowledge services.

Read or download and executive summary or an easy read version of the strategy