Friday, 16 September 2016

DAY 1: Health Libraries Group (HLG) Conference 2016

Following an eventful workshop in Manchester for the Knowledge for Healthcare Leadership Programme, I made my way to a very foggy Scarborough for the 2016 HLG Conference This was my first time at the HLG Conference and it was held at the Scarborough Spa. I was amazed by how easily I was able to identify acquaintances from Twitter and finally connect in person. There were lots of tweets from the conference at #hlg2016 and more on the event can be found on the CILIP website.

Sarah Henessey, HLG Co-Chair, started us off with a welcome address and some housekeeping rules. The keynote address was made by Patrick Mitchell & Louise Goswami from Health Education England. It was based on how much of the Knowledge for Healthcare framework has been implemented. Patrick highlighted the need to consider how we can cope with the sheer volume of available knowledge and information. He talked about the many ways in which Librarians have been contributing to the implementation of the framework and called for everyone to get on board with the programme and join the dialogue. Emphasis was placed on the need to mobilise evidence and organise knowledge into practice as well as recognising the age gap in our clientele and getting them the help they need how they want it. The Knowledge Management Toolkit, which contains case studies about what others have done in their organisations to improve patient care, was also launched.

We heard Louise talk about how partnerships are central to the success of the framework. She stressed the need for communication and engagement including how important it is to talk about the direction of travel for all our efforts. She talked about the visual identity of the Knowledge for Healthcare framework that has been developed and highlighted the newly available guidance and ideas bank produced by the Public & Patient Working Group with a focus on a role Librarians need to play in the public and patient agenda. Other areas she covered include extending our reach to commissioners, public health etc through the Service Transformation Group, working with information providers such as Public Libraries, creating best practice guidelines and developing a collaboration portal for current awareness, E-Learning (STEP) - the need to develop resources nationally to be provided locally thereby reducing duplication of effort, an evaluation framework to develop impact objectives and impact indicators, the need to review LQAF by developing guidance, standards, as well as launching a pilot.

Patrick covered the investment needed by the Resource Discovery Working Group to select the best tools available to make resource discovery as agile as possible, optimising funding, the learning zone to allow you look at where you are at in your development, the PKSB for health to give a sense of gap analysis, the Talent Management Toolkit was launched, bespoke development programmes to be developed by the Leadership Academy for Bands 8a and upwards, a joint campaign with CILIP advocating the Librarian as central to manage evidence and knowledge to support the NHS by mobilising evidence to the bedside. He also stressed engaging with Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP) leaders as the only game in town. There is no plan B.

David Stewart took the opportunity to advocate for succession planning and encouraged attendees to consider the next steps in their professional careers and consider applying for the second cohort of the Knowledge for Healthcare Leadership Programme which Patrick had mentioned would be open for entries soon. This was followed by a break which led us to the first break out session. I attended the session on Consumer Health Information by Ruth Carlyle from Macmillan Cancer Support. It focused on how the voluntary sector can help health information services provide content and support to help individuals make decisions about their health and treatment. She highlighted the available resources and stressed that it is the responsibility of the Librarian to ensure the information provided is of high quality. She also referred to the British Medical Association criteria as single tangible criteria to use in determining the usability of information found. Medium is important - conversation, hard copy, and digital referencing  however people act more on information they receive in conversation because it is personalised.

Fran Wilkie & Michael Raynor from NICE presented to how to use NICE Evidence Search to help users make better, quicker, evidence based decisions. It is useful for quick information not primary research articles. There was a hands-on workshop based on scenarios which illustrated that the NOT operator cannot be applied because a lot of content contains the phrase "do not use" and applying truncations breaks the relevancy ranking. The exporting function has been reintroduced allowing 250 results at a time. Fran referred us to the training materials and help guides on the NICE communities page for Library and Knowledge Services staff.

I attended the session led by Catherine McLaren and Jane Cooper on how to support nurses and midwives through revalidation. They make use of reflective practice sessions to support those with no recent study experience. They help attendees learn skills that can be fed back into the organisation. They learn to consider events to reflect on, how they can relate it to everyday situations, how to conduct literature searches. These sessions serve as an indirect mechanism for encouraging evidence based practice within the health service. They need to be well marketed to encourage uptake and there should be a clear statement of the aims and objectives of the course.

Gaby Caro from the World Health Organization called for contributions to the Hinari project after describing the changing environment for training in the developing world. She asked attendees to take a look at the materials on the Hinari training portal and make recommendations to support colleagues at Next up were Shane Godbolt and Cheryl Twomey with a presentation on Knowledge Management for Health. They stressed the need for co-development among professionals regardless of the continent they are based at. Shared learning will serve to improve health across the globe. Information is only effective when it can be accessed by those who need it where and when it is needed and sadly that is not the case in some developing countries. They mentioned that lack of African initiatives bring driven from within the continent is an impediment. African learning needs to be translated into African development e.g. research on the Ebola virus epidemic. There is a need to identify, strengthen and sustain knowledge management initiatives in Africa to support increased access and use of health information. Some of the challenges currently being faced include infrastructure (electricity, internet), cost of information, knowledge and delivery systems, lack of a reading culture, domination by non-local players.

On that note, the sessions ended but the day did not as attendees returned to the Scarborough Spa later that night for dinner and dancing. The Mayor of Scarborough and his wife also made an appearance and it was a pleasant evening giving way to the second day of the conference.

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