CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Scottish Vaccine Transformation Programme

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 Seona Hamilton, Pubic Health Librarian at Public Health Scotland. Read other case studies here.

Outline of the project

The three-year Scottish Vaccination Transformation Programme (VTP) began on 1 April 2018. It aims to modernise vaccination delivery across Scotland so NHS Boards can reconfigure services to suit their local populations, geography, workforce and resources.

During the transition, the VTP also provides an opportunity to identify ways to improve vaccination coverage in certain programmes and populations, as well as close inequalities gaps.

As part of this work, Public Health Scotland Knowledge Services were approached to identify the evidence base to support the development of two rapid reviews, the first looking at strategies aiming to improve uptake of immunisation programmes among some under-served groups of people; and the second looking at interventions to engage people aged 60 and over in immunisation programmes.

This involved identifying and advising on the relevant information sources for the search, including bibliographic databases and sources of ‘grey’ (unpublished) literature; developing comprehensive search strategies for each source using an iterative approach and regular feedback from the review advisory group; and then running the searches and organising the outputs using Refworks and Covidence review software so that the review author could screen the individual journal articles and reports for consideration for inclusion in the review.


Reflecting on this work, Librarian Seona Hamilton said:

This was an excellent opportunity for Knowledge Services to use our search skills to support an important public health programme. From a personal point of view, it was very rewarding to be part of a project from beginning to end, collaborating closely with Emma Riches to ensure that I was working in a way that was most helpful to her, and to see how my searches resulted in two rapid reviews that could then be used to inform service development for vaccination programmes in Scotland

The work done by the PHS Knowledge Services team was highly valued by service users. This quote from Emma Riches, Public Health Intelligence Adviser at Public Health Scotland, demonstrates why:

Knowledge Services played a critical role in developing rapid evidence reviews to inform the Vaccination Transformation Programme (VTP). They identified recent peer-reviewed and/or unpublished literature from a wide array of databases for two rapid reviews which summarised evidence on interventions to improve immunisation uptake in selected underserved populations and adults aged 60 years and over. This work will help health boards modernise how vaccination is delivered across Scotland

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