Brighton and Sussex NHS Library and Knowledge Service at #HLG2018: five go to Keele

The two-yearly conference of British health librarians, organised by the Health Libraries Group[,  takes place on Thursday and Friday 14th and 15th June at Keele University and Brighton and Sussex NHS Library and Knowledge Service are well represented in the programme.

Rachel Playforth, Assistant Librarian (Knowledge Management), presents a paper she and Clinical Librarian Igor Brbre have written, on literature searching peer review in practice: enhancing the skills of searchers, describing and analysing our system of peer review of evidence searches. We are one of the few library services to use peer review to maintain search quality and consistency.

Kevin Burgoyne will talk on the theme Help! I’m a Primary Care Librarian, offering his advice and experience to those setting up library and knowledge services to primary care and commissioners.

Tom Roper, Clinical Librarian, will help facilitate a Knowledge Café on social media and collaborative tools, and will present a paper on the highly successful #ukmedlibs Twitter chats he organises with two colleagues from other library services.

As well as delivering their papers, our delegates, with the addition of Ben Skinner, Head of Library and Knowledge Services and Cecelia Schwartzman, Assistant Librarian at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, will be listening to presentations from librarians from around Britain, looking for lessons and good practice they can bring back to apply locally.

You can follow the conference on Twitter with the hashtag #HLG2018, and some of the plenary sessions are being live-streamed.


Heritage Open Day – Royal Sussex County Hospital

Join us in celebrating the Royal Sussex County’s 190th Birthday at one of our free bite-size heritage talks on Monday 11th June.

Samantha Sharman, our Heritage Officer, will take you on a fascinating journey through our hospital’s vibrant and eventful history, complete with photographs and artefacts from the collection.

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10.30am – 10.45am  Bite size talk: A snapshot of our History

11.30am – 11.45am  Bite size talk: About our Heritage project

1.00pm – 1.15pm       Bite size talk: A snapshot of our History (repeat)

2.00pm – 5.30pm       Drop in: Talk to the Heritage Officer and Object display

All events take place in The Chapel, The Barry building, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Eastern Road, Brighton

Contact (Heritage Officer) for more information.


Help us to help you with patient information

Patient info 2

Do you give your patients information? Perhaps you don’t have time? Would you welcome some support or advice in providing information for the patients you see?



Fill in our quick survey  to give us a picture of the kind of patient information you currently supply, and what you would like to offer.

Information Standard

The Patient Information Librarian will then be in touch with suggestions, guidance and ideas on how to create good quality patient information.

Thank you!

Introducing Cecelia and Nicola!

We’re delighted to welcome two new Assistant Librarians to our team who will be working together to ensure a seamless service for library members at our Brighton and Haywards Heath sites.  Here’s a little more about them, in their own words:

Cecelia Schwartzman

Cecelia S


“As Assistant Librarian for the Brighton and Sussex NHS Library and Knowledge Service based at the Audrey Emerton Library, I will be teaching library inductions and contributing to the KnowledgeShare evidence searches.

I was previously a Senior Library Assistant based at the Mill View Hospital site. I finished my MA in Information Studies at the University of Brighton last year and look forward to putting the skills I’ve learned into practice.  I am also a member of the CILIP Sussex Committee.

“In my spare time I enjoy cooking, travel, and reading online forums about bad reality television shows.”

Nicola Salliss

Nicola Salliss 4


“As Assistant Librarian at the Princess Royal Hospital I will be involved in delivering frontline enquiry services as well as supporting the KnowledgeShare evidence search service, I will also be delivering information skills sessions and administering OpenAthens accounts.

“My background is in academic libraries where I worked as a subject librarian for art and design for over twenty years, most recently at Kingston University. Health libraries are a complete change of direction for me but an area of work that I have always been interested in exploring. My new colleagues have been extremely welcoming and don’t seem to mind me asking lots of daft questions.

“Currently I am spending most of my spare time searching property websites as I am relocating to West Sussex from Surrey. I enjoy going to the cinema and, surprisingly for someone who hated P.E. at school, playing badminton.”


Hospital with a heritage

Sam Sharman

The Library and Knowledge Service team would like to introduce our newly appointed Heritage Officer Samantha Sharman, based at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

“As part of Heritage Lottery Funding I will be managing a two year Social History research and engagement project on the Royal Sussex County Hospital titled: Royal Sussex County Hospital: A People’s History from the 19th Century to the 21st Century.

TNL_HLFE_PANTONEOur research and activities are focused on the people who have made, run and supported the hospital and its services, the people we have served and the difference made from 1828 to the present day. It will invite our internal and external, clinical and non-clinical community to share and record which experiences, events, objects and people have been important to them during their time at the hospital, from the everyday to the extraordinary.

I applied for the role as I believe the hospital is an extraordinary anchor institution within Brighton & Hove. The history of the hospital is far reaching, and in many instances mirrors the shared history of voluntary hospitals, local urbanisation and NHS history. These changes have been tangibly experienced and observed via the on-going accumulation of personal interactions, events and experiences we as staff, patients, visitors, volunteers or community members encounter daily in our lives from our roles, volunteering, visits or by just in passing by. Our project will connect memories, and associated memorabilia, with an organisational biography, providing a deeply personal interpretation of our communal history.

It is also worth raising that recorded history is hardly ever found entirely intact, or from all perspectives, sometimes documents are overlooked as possessing research value and gaps exist, so it is hard to work out the meaning and context of a decision, event or change. As such, the project will also use both archival records, internal records, objects and personal reminiscence to interpret, contextualise and enrich the storyline of the hospital, its workforce and volunteers. We will also keep in mind that the project overlaps with areas of history internationally requiring development such as womens history, LGBT+ history, BAME history and socio-economic groups, to name a few.”

If you are interested in hearing more about the project follow us on twitter here:

Or email to receive the e-news letter.

Reaching out to Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust staff


Amy Dunn is our Mental Health Specialist Librarian and provides Library & Knowledge Services to Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust staff.  Although based at the Mill View Hospital Library in Hove, she takes every opportunity to meet with them and support their learning and development events, such as the one below:


“On November 1st I took a stack of library leaflets and other goodies to hand out at Sussex Partnership’s Autumn Learning Event held at Sussex University’s Falmer campus. It was great to see so many people attending this event, reflective of the trust’s commitment to learning, and I spoke to as many of them as I could manage during the coffee and lunch breaks.

“Every single person I spoke to was an enthusiastic library user, which was nice to hear! One person told me how she’d set up a system to share the information updates the Library & Knowledge Service sent to her with the rest of her team, another told me how he’d persuaded his manager to change the way his team carried out a process by drawing on evidence that we’d provided, and others said the evidence searching teaching they’d had from library staff was invaluable to them.

“I took the opportunity to ask each person I spoke to the question: ‘how can we best reach your non-library using colleagues and tell them about the services we provide?’

“Everybody generously took the time to give really thoughtful and helpful responses to my question, and I came away with details of meetings, events, and a list of contacts to follow up. This will keep me busy for a while!”

Contact Amy for more information on our services, or to arrange a visit to your team:


All change at Brighton & Sussex Medical School!

Last week we bid a fond farewell to Jil, our Medical School Librarian and Technology-Enhanced Learning Lead. This week, we’re delighted to welcome Lisa McLaren who has taken on the role.

Lisa has beenLisa working alongside Jil for the past month as part of the handover so many of you will have already met her at the University and RSCH library sites, but below is a little more about her role and her background, in Lisa’s own words:


“As Medical School Librarian, my job is quite wide ranging! From teaching all types of students about lit searching and academic skills to managing the resources, attending curriculum management boards and working on technology enhanced learning (TEL) projects, no two days are ever the same. I really enjoy being student facing again and TEL has always been a real passion of mine.

“I’ve got a varied background and have spent the last 12 years building a portfolio career, with posts in the NHS, Higher Education, Public and Special Libraries. I’ve managed some libraries, worked as a Health librarian and even taken the odd rhyme time session.

“In my spare time, I enjoy eating cake, making myself look like an eejit at Zumba classes, pretending to train for triathlons and watching 20 minutes of a movie before either falling asleep or being asked to feed someone.”