Blue sky thinking: the Library Fund

BSUH Charity consists of a general fund and dozens of others funds dedicated to supporting specific departments or wards. This structure helps ensure that money is spent in line with a donor’s wishes.

One such fund is the Library Endowment Fund. It was set up with contributions from local NHS staff, reflecting the value they placed on the role of the Library and Knowledge Service plays in improving patient care. The aim of the fund is to support the continued development of the Library and Knowledge Service to benefit education, research and clinical practice for all NHS staff in the locality.

Ben Skinner, Head of Library and Knowledge Services, explains more about his department and how the Library Endowment Fund ultimately impacts on BSUH patients.

Ben Skinner -fundholder

“The Library and Knowledge Service has a wide remit. We provide the books, journals and study space that students and trainees need to move forward in their careers.

“We work with clinicians and managers to inform their decisions; giving them the knowledge to improve services and give better care. We boost staff education through an online learning management system and support educators to use technology in their teaching.

“We make sure that patients get the best information about their conditions and treatment so they can take charge of their health. We do this for hospital staff, community staff, mental health colleagues and the local public health teams.”

Using the charitable funds to get better at what we do

BSUH staff learning benefits our patients

Ben continues, “Over the past year we have paid for members of our team to go to professional development events so that we can increase our skills in the work we do.

For example, we have attended workshops on how to summarise research evidence, to make it easier for clinicians to act rapidly and provide evidence-based care. We have been able to go to national conferences for NHS knowledge specialists, allowing us to network and learn from best practice around the country.

Members of the team have  also presented to international conferences on many topics including how to improve the quality of NHS staff education.”

Value-added resources

The Library and Knowledge Service team

As well as staff development, the fund is used to strengthen the service provided by the Learning and Knowledge team in a number of ways:

  • It’s purchased software to help educators make their teaching more interactive
  • It’s paid for promotional materials to raise awareness of how we can inform patient care
  • It’s allowed us to broaden the range of textbooks that we have in our libraries.

All this helps to spread innovation and transform staff education.

“The Library Endowment Fund is helping to make sure that local NHS staff have the information, research and evidence they need to improve health care in Brighton and Sussex.” Ben Skinner