- Available Locations
- Join the Library
- Our training
- Books, journals and databases
- Useful resources and links*
Welcome to the NHFT Library site. We provide access to the best evidence, that supports both clinicians and managers, to help services provide high value care across Northamptonshire. Our goal is to put evidence at the heart of decision making. The Libraries are managed by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and are available to NHS staff at Northamptonshire Healthcare and Northampton General Hospital and attached students.
While we carry out the traditional library role of providing books, journals and newspapers, we do much more than this. We offer a full enquiry and literature searching service, from answering basic questions to addressing complex clinical, research and management information needs, across the breadth of services within the NHS.
In each of the libraries, you will find qualified library staff who are there to offer you a friendly and effective service.
Although the libraries are all staffed during office hours, the service does not stop at 5pm. Once registered, all users can access the libraries at the Berrywood and Northampton General hospitals 24 hours a day, every day. Many of our services can also be accessed remotely, so you do not need to visit the library in person. Becoming a member of one library automatically allows you to use all of the others.
Our service is provided across a number of sites, each with its own specialisms, as well as providing more general stock. Please select the available locations tab to find out more about the individual library sites.
Join the Library
Membership is free and open to all NHFT and Northampton General Hospital staff, as well as attached students.
We also offer an annual subscription-based membership service to other individuals or organisations who aren't eligible to join.
For us to provide you with any of the services or resources offered, we request that you register as a member. A membership form can be obtained from each library site or you can complete the online registration form using the link below.
You will receive a library membership card and full details of service provision five working days after we receive your completed registration form.Library Services Membership Form
Please note that:
- Membership is renewable every three years
- Membership cards are not transferable between individuals or organisations
- If you change your home address or work location, please inform the library
- If you lose a membership card please inform the library, as you may be charged a replacement fee
Our online induction video for new staff members
Our online induction video for students on placement
For people who need access to health-related resources but do not qualify for membership to our service, we offer a subscription-based individual membership.
Anyone can join the Library on a subscription basis. We currently offer an:
- Annual subscription for £50
- Or a six-month subscription for £30
For the cost of your membership you will get:
- 24-hour access every day to the libraries at the Berrywood and Northampton General hospitals
- 9am-5pm access to Isebrook Library
- Access to physical library stock, resources, and the library catalogue
- Loans from our collections for up to six items on loan per member at any one time
- Access to databases and electronic books and journals via an OpenAthens password
- Access to the Internet while at Richmond, Berrywood or Isebrook Libraries
- Access to computers with MS Office
- Use of study facilities
- Access to induction/awareness and training workshops
- Quick reference and enquiry support - (defined as approximately 10 minutes of library staff time per enquiry)
Subscriptions can be purchased at any of the Library sites by cash, cheque, or bank transfer. Or, if you prefer, we can raise an invoice.
We can also offer some additional services on a fee paying basis (see our subscription membership leaflet below for costs):
Supply of journal articles
- Photocopy/download of a journal article from stock or another library
- Photocopy of an article from the British Library
- Self-service printing and photocopying
Searching and enquiries
- Literature search or detailed enquiry work by library staff
- Individual/one-to-one training
- Attendance at Library workshop
The training offered by the library is designed to enable you to get the maximum use of the information resources available. The workshops are delivered by local NHS librarians and each is accompanied by detailed handouts.
If you would like to attend one of our training courses please contact the library service and we will arrange a session for you. Sessions can be done face to face or via MS Teams.
Critical Appraisal: An Introduction
Not all evidence is equal! If you want to be confident with using published research you need to understand what it is telling you and be able to assess its quality. Our two critical appraisal skills courses can help you get to grips with the basics of this useful skill.
This course covers the basics of assessing the quality of research evidence. It looks at the different types of research studies you are most likely to come across, and will give you an introduction to some of the statistical terminology most commonly used in biomedical research such as ‘number needed to treat’ and ‘confidence intervals’.
The course also takes you through a checklist for critically appraising a randomised controlled trial. You do not need to have knowledge of critical appraisal or statistical techniques in order to attend.
Critical Appraisal: In Action
Not all evidence is equal! If you want to be confident in using published research you need to understand what it is telling you and be able to assess its quality. Our two critical appraisal skills courses can help you get to grips with the basics of this useful skill.
This is an interactive follow up session giving you the opportunity to appraise a randomised controlled trial, using the information learned in our introductory training. Course participants will undertake the appraisal as a group, facilitated by a Librarian. The paper will be circulated in advance, although time will be allowed for reading it on the day.This session is aimed at people who have previously attended ‘Critical Appraisal: an introduction’ or similar training.
Introduction to the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub
The NHS Knowledge and Library Hub is a single gateway that offers an easy to use interface for quick searches, as well as access to a huge variety of electronic content.
This short (30 minute) introduction will show you how to search the Hub, as well as how to access electronic journals, databases and other resources.
This two-hour workshop provides an introduction to searching for published literature, showing you how to find journal articles on a subject from databases such as Medline. This course is a good starting point for those undertaking academic studies.
The workshop includes time spent practicing search skills with support from the course leader and requires that the participants already have a good working knowledge of how to use the Internet.
At the end of the course participants will be able to:
- Develop an effective search strategy for a research topic by identifying key concepts, search terms and synonyms
- Select an appropriate database for conducting a search
- Use the correct techniques for combining search terms
- Use the thesaurus to search the databases more effectively
- Save, email and print journal references retrieved
- Acquire the articles/documents in full text, either directly from the databases or from Library services
Please note: You will to need to bring your Athens password with you to access the databases for the practical parts of the course. If you don't already have one you can register online here, or contact the library if you think you might have an account but have forgotten the login.
The Pre-course Course
This course is aimed at NHS staff who are undertaking further study of some kind, whether it is a short course, a module, a full Masters or PhD.
This two hour session will help you up:
- Set up your library membership and OpenAthens account for access to online journals and databases
- Tackle reading lists and find the books you need
- Access full text electronic journal articles
- Use the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub, Trip database and Cochrane Library to search for evidence and guidelines and identify good quality information
Training in the Work Place
We can offer both introductory and update sessions lasting from ten minutes to one hour (or more) which can be can be delivered to groups at any location in the county. These sessions can be tailored to meet your needs and are ideal for a lunchtime, departmental meeting or a PLT session.
Standard two-hour workshops can also be tailored for particular groups and run as one-off sessions at any of the venues listed or other suitable venues around the county.
As long as we have a room with an internet connection, we can deliver our training practically anywhere. For further information, please contact one of the libraries.
Training venues and booking
Who: These sessions are free and open to all NHFT and NGH staff and attached students in Northamptonshire.
How to book: Contact the library of your choice. Your booking can usually be arranged over the phone immediately. Certificates of attendance are given to all course participants.
When: Our training sessions can usually be arranged to suit you.
Where: Training can be delivered via MS Teams, in the libraries or at any other suitable venue (as long as there is an Internet connection).
Books, journals and databases
The NHS Knowledge and Library Hub
The Hub is a single gateway that offers an intuitive search experience for quick searches (for literature searching you will need to use the individual databases).
On it you can find:
- Thousands of electronic journals that you can search or browse
- Basic, advanced and PICO searching options
- books and e-publications including the OUP handbooks
- one-click access to full-text articles, request a copy, or contact us
- clinical decision support tools such as BMJ Best Practice
- NICE pathways and guidelines
To access the Knowledge and Library Hub, go to http://library.nhs.uk/knowledgehub, click “Start your search” and log in with your OpenAthens account via the link at the top of the page.
We have also created a short guide to getting the most from the site: NHS Knowledge and Library Hub quick guide[pdf] 469KB
Books in stock
Our loans are mainly for 6 weeks, but for high demand items we do have some titles that are only available for 14 days.
You can renew any item up to three times without returning it to the Library, providing no one else has asked for it.
You will be guaranteed to keep an item for the initial 6 week or 14 day loan period but after that we can change the due date and ask you to return it earlier than expected if it has been requested by another user.
Very overdue items will be charged at the replacement cost and a £25 administration fee.
Managing your loans
When you register with the library you can log into the catalogue using the number on your library card. Just select the forgotten password option to set up your account. Once you have done that you can see your current and past loans, renew and reserve books and even create your own reading lists.
Items not held in stock (Inter-library loans)
NHS staff can request any book or journal article that we do not hold in stock and we will try to obtain it via our local, regional and national networks of NHS and academic libraries.
There is no charge for this service for NHS staff, but we may sometimes contact you if you have requested a loan we can only get from the British Library (who charge us for the service), to ensure the item you have asked for is essential.
We will process your request within one working day.
Students will need to request items we do not stock from their home institution.
We have a large collection of books available to you electronically, which you can access from work or home (or anywhere else). The collection covers a variety of health information.
The easiest way to find our ebooks is to search our catalogue where you will find all our our titles and a link to access them.
You will then need to log in with your NHS OpenAthens password to access them.
We have also created an E-books guide[pdf] 1MB to help with getting the best from the different platforms we use.
Clinical Key contains over 1,100 of Elsevier's medical, surgical and health care related books including classic texts such as Kumar & Clark's Clinical Medicine (like all of our ebooks, you can also find them on our catalogue). You will need an Athens account to log in.
Find it online at www.clinicalkey.com.
To search for books simply change the drop down button in the search box from "All" to "Books"
There are a number of books available to you electronically, which you can access from work or home (or anywhere else). The collection covers a variety of health information.
The Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical and Cancer Nursing Procedures
The 10th edition of the manual includes over 350 evidence-based clinical procedures related to every aspect of care, from hand washing to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The manual gives clear instruction and rationale for the procedures, as well as linking to key documents.
The manual is available on-line at:www.rmmonline.co.uk.
You will then need to log in with your NHS Athens account (if you don't have one follow the self-registration link below to get a user name and password).
This will allow you too:
- View an alphabetical list of the procedures
- Browse the separate chapters of the manual
- Search for information
- View illustrations
- Access an on-line tutorial and help screens.
British National Formularies
The BNF and the BNF for Children are both also available online. No passwords are required from inside an NHS premesis, but if logging in from home you will need to use your NHS Athens account.
To access the BNF go to: https://bnf.nice.org.uk/
To access the BNFC go to: https://bnfc.nice.org.uk/
We have also created BNF and BNFC quick guide[pdf] 445KB if you need more help.
Searching databases will give you access to journal articles, conference papers and sometimes reports or books on specific subjects. If you need help with searching we offer training on how to use the databases effectively.
There are a number of specialist databases available to NHS staff and students. You will need an OpenAthens password to access these databases. Many of the references also include a link to the full text of the journal article.
Just click the database title to access it.
AMED (Allied & Complementary Medicine Index)
Focuses on alternative and complementary medicine, holistic treatment, as well as allied health topics such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, speech therapy and rehabilitation.
BNI (British Nursing & Midwifery Index)
Mainly focused on British nursing issues although it also covers medical, health management and allied health fields relevant to UK nurses and midwives.
CINAHL (Cumulated Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature)
Covers all aspects of nursing, midwifery and allied health. Many of the sources used are American.
EMBASE (Excerpta Medica Database)
Covers all aspects of biomedical information, and is particularly strong in drug research and pharmacology. It has an emphasis on European sources of information.
Covers all aspects of nursing, midwifery and allied health, as well as management and public health.
HMIC (Health Information Management Consortium)
Containing both DH-Data and the Kings Fund databases, coverage includes official UK health policy documents and informally published literature from health and social care organisations, health service and hospital administration, as well as management.
A vast source of medical information, covering the whole field of medicine including dentistry, nursing, veterinary medicine and medical psychology.
ProQuest Health Research Premium Collection
A full text database covering all aspects of health care from medicine, nursing and allied health to family health, and healthcare management.
Full text journals covering psychology, behavioural sciences and mental health from 140 publications with coverage going back as far as 1894.
PsycINFO (Psychological Information)
Provides extensive international coverage of psychology, psychiatry and allied fields.
Social Policy and Practice
A source of evidence-based social science research for policy-makers, practitioners, educators and students working within economic and social development, social administration, social services, and care management.
We have created some user guides on how to get started with literature searching, as well as a guide to each of the database platforms:
- Literature searching - getting started.pdf [pdf] 351KB
- Literature searching via EBSCO (Cinahl).pdf[pdf] 737KB
- Literature searching via Ovid (Medline, Embase, Emcare, AMED, Social Policy & Practice, HMIC).pdf[pdf] 595KB
- Literature searching via ProQuest (PsychInfo).pdf[pdf] 1MB
Clinical Key can be used as both a point-of-care tool and for further in depth research. It contains over 600 full text journals, 1,000 eBooks and 1,800 topic pages. It also contains First Consult monographs with over two million videos and images (which can be used in presentations), patient information handouts and more. With an intuitive smart search interface that recognises clinical terminology, Clinical Key is a powerful and easy to use resource.
Other Health Related Databases and Search Engines
A database of good quality evidence from the Cochrane Stroke Group.
Password: None, but free registration required
A database of systematic reviews of the effects of social interventions covering topics such as social welfare, education, crime and justice.
Pass word: None
A reliable source of evidence-based clinical information and practical 'know how' about the common conditions managed in primary and first contact care.
Regularly updated electronic library of systematic reviews (the ‘gold standard’ of evidence) of the effects of healthcare, healthcare technology assessments and economic evaluations of healthcare interventions. The full text versions of these systematic reviews are available.
A catalogue of free open access resources containing over 25 million records from 1,100 contributors including depositories from many major national and university libraries. All the content is available in full text.
A database of high quality evidence for Occupational Therapy (systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials). All the trials have been critically appraised and rated. The site also features resources on evidence based practice, searching for information and critical appraisal in OT. It is produced by staff from two Australian Universities – Queensland and Western Sydney.
PEDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database)
A database of high quality evidence for Physiotherapy (systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials and guidelines). Most trials on the database have also been rated for their quality and there is a short tutorial available on evaluating the validity of clinical trials. PEDro is produced by the Centre for Evidence Based Physiotherapy in Australia.
Shaare Zedek Cancer Pain and Palliative Care Reference Database
A specialist database containing over 30,000 references (not full text) in relation to oncology and end of life care.
Social Care Online
Contains social work and social care information, covering a wide range of sources including central and local government reports, journal articles, web sites and voluntary organisations.
Indexes Cochrane Reviews as well as information from over 100 more evidence-based resources, generalist and specialist journals as well as guidelines, eBooks, patient leaflets and medical images.
Password: None (but creating an account or signing in withTwitter or Facebook provides access to enhanced services and content)
The library service currently provides access to a large collection of journal titles, covering all aspects of medicine, health care, nursing, management, mental health and the allied health professions. These journals are available from anywhere with an Internet connection.
The easiest way to access all of our journal holdings is via the BrowZine site. BrowZine is an easy to use service that will allow you to:
- Search our journal holdings for specific titles
- Browse our journal subscriptions to see what titles we hold in your specialty / areas of interest
- Browse table of contents of our journals and link straight through to the full text of most articles
To access BrowZine follow the links below:
- Northamptonshire Healthcare staff follow this link: https://browzine.com/libraries/1776/
- Northampton General Hospital staff follow this link: https://browzine.com/libraries/1775/
We recommend you use BrowZine if you are searching for a particular journal title, however if you are doing a more general subject search you can use the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub search or an appropriate database.
We have created a Browzine user guide [pdf] 782KB to help you get the most out of our electronic journals collections.
Items we have added to stock recently:
Books on approval
We want to be sure that the books we buy are the ones that you actually need to support your work and learning and what we like best is when our users tell us what they need.
This is where our on approvals scheme comes in. Every two months our supplier sends us a selection of the latest health related titles which we make available for you to review and make suggestions for titles to puchase (or sometimes, to not purchase!).
You can find the on approval books at the Berrywood and Richmond libraries. Below is a list of the current titles available.
Point of Care
BMJ Best Practice draws on the latest evidence based research to offer step-by-step UK guidance on diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prevention. It also features procedural videos, calculators, drug information and leaflets for patients.
By registering for a personal account you can also use Best Practice to record CME/CPD activity for revalidation and you can access it offline via a free app for Android and iOS devices.
Go to https://bestpractice.bmj.com/ and log in with your OpenAthens account.