Knowledge Specialist, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Event date: 11 November 2021
This is billed as the Clinical Librarians conference, and a couple of presenters were clinical librarians, however as only the content of one presentation was clinical librarian focussed the conference was suitable for any librarian working in a health / medical library setting.
There were seventeen topics; a mixture of standard 20 minutes presentation and 10 minute lightening talks. Several were on COVID-19 initiatives, but there was also a mix of other content from search filters to critical appraisal videos to sustainability resources.
The first two presentations were pre-recorded videos which did ensure they kept to time! These were informative, but I personally found them harder to listen attentively compared to the “live” presentations. Both presenters were available to answer questions at the end of the presentation. Recording the presentation does mean the worry of ensuring the presentation operates correctly falls to the conference organisers rather than the presenter and having personally experienced problems sharing slides in group sessions I can definitely see the benefit of that!
Julie Glanville (Independent Consultant in Information Retrieval) presented on the INterTASC Information Specialists’ Sub-Group (ISSG) Search Filter REsource and updated on the latest developments in this essential resource for librarians and information specialists answering clinical questions and supporting evidence syntheses. Tricia Rey (Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) spoke about the LKSS Regional Searching Guidance (and using it outside the LKSS Region!). Adam Tocock (Barts Health NHS Trust) presented on Knowledge and Library Services Working with our Trust’s Sustainability Group.
Assad Lahlou (Barts Health NHS Trust) introduced the Critical Appraisal Bite-Size Videos.
A key takeaway from Lindsay Snell’s (University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust) presentation on Providing literature searches more efficiently: using quality improvement methods to save time without losing quality was that using reference management software had helped reduce literature search times, as searchers now used different interfaces.
Emily Hurt (Clinical Librarian, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) presented Chicken and eggs – implementing a major change at national level in which she outlined what she had learned by being seconded to a national Health Education England project. Emily identified the following project management tips – run a pilot; start early; collect lots of data; use the strengths (and skills) of others; ask for help; involve your community; communicate; and be flexible, as not everything goes to plan.
Sarah Rudd (North Bristol NHS Trust) described the Creation of the Library Ambassador. The key lessons from this initiative were deciding what the ambassadors should do and providing ambassadors with “shiny” badges that encouraged conversations about the role. The Library Ambassadors were also involved in the interviews for the latest library vacancy.
Dr Caroline de Brún (UK Health Security Agency – was Public Health England) presented Infodemiologists managing the COVID-19 infodemic: The changing role of Knowledge and Evidence Specialists” The UK Health Security Agency were part of the WHO Evidence Collaboration on COVID-19 (ECC-19) network.
Eva Thackeray, Sarah Gardner and Helene Gorring presented The COVID search bank: NHS librarians collaborate to share and peer review literature searches during the pandemic. Ten librarians worked in pairs to review the contributed search strategies – approximately 25% were rejected (many were duplicates) and others were missing keywords or thesaurus terms. The Search Bank was launched in April 2020 and currently includes 245 searches.
Deena Maggs and Lynsey Hawker (The King’s Fund) presented on Recovery from disasters and shared the report on The Road to Renewal: Five priorities for health and care.
Jayne Jefferies and Amy Finnegan (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – NICE) reported on The Role of Information Specialists at NICE during COVID. The NICE remit had been to focus on symptoms, treatments and adverse effects. They produced two “living guidelines” – managing COVID-19 and vaccine induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (VITT).
One of the few positives to the pandemic is the rise in virtual conferences, which are often free or at a lower cost than face-to-face conferences, whilst also saving on travel costs for attendees. The organisers also noted the wider and larger audience (over 150 on the Teams meeting) than a face-to-face conference. The conference organisers acknowledged the range of presenters and attendees due to the online nature of the conference. I wonder if a hybrid conference (both virtual and face-to-face) may be an option in the future. The big negative of virtual conferences is the lack of networking opportunities with presenters and fellow attendees. I am not sure how that could be overcome – perhaps part of the lunchtime break could include the option of a chat on Zoom / Teams to enable social interaction?