CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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COVID-19 Knowledge Service (NHS Scotland)

This case study is part of Health Librarians Add Value, a campaign run jointly by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and CILIPS. It has been provided by Catriona Denoon, Library Services Manager at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC). Read other case studies here

Outline of the project

The NHSGGC Library Network organised and coordinated a national literature search service to support healthcare staff in Scotland with searches and enquiries on Covid19 during the pandemic. We built a platform on our Zendesk enquiries database ( and made licences available to participating NHS board library services so they could manage tickets and post results in the platform. We shared an adapted version of our own literature search form.

Libraries also produced Covid-related current awareness bulletins which were hosted on the platform. This aimed to ease the pressure on boards which were already doing a lot of searches for their own staff, giving them the chance to share with other boards. It also allowed staff from boards with no access to a professional library service to access a professional literature search during the pandemic.


The below quote from a service user shows how valued this service has been:

The service which I receive anytime from our staff in Ayrshire & Arran is excellent. The service is prompt , tailored and helpful. I have often received information which has been very helpful for literature reviews and other topical work. Thanks so much

Another service user said:

Fantastic support and prompt literature search

Catriona Denoon reflects on the project and passes on her thanks to all involved:

This was an opportunity for NHS library services across Scotland to collaborate and provide evidence on Coronavirus and COVID19 to staff during the pandemic. The service was pulled together very quickly, and benefitted from support and enthusiasm from participating library staff. Thanks to all the participating NHS Scotland library services – Health Improvement Scotland, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, NHS Borders, NHS Education for Scotland, NHS Fife, NHS Forth Valley, NHS Grampian, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Tayside and Public Health Scotland. Thanks in particular to NES Knowledge Services for their support and encouragement in setting up the service.

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