Reflective writing for GP trainees


Reflective writing helps us to look back at things that we have done, make changes in what we do, and get better at what we do. It’s an important part of professional development.


A group of trainee GPs enjoyed a reflective writing session in October run by Cecilia Bethencourt-Dunning, our Specialist Patient Information Librarian. They commented that it was an “excellent reflection session”; “good to work through examples and go through answers”; and “useful exercise, good to practice in the teaching session”.

The session looked briefly at what reflective writing is and why it is important; how it bridges the gap between theory and practice and helps you learn from your experience; and how to use the Gibbs model of reflection to structure your writing.

The most valuable part of the session was when the students looked at examples from their own practice. They used the Gibbs template to analyse their thoughts, feelings and emotions about the situation and what they learned from it, and then those who wished to shared their example with the rest of the group. Several excellent examples of good reflective practice followed, and it was clear that the group had a strong grasp of the principles of reflective writing. Talking through their experiences- whether they were centred around the patient-doctor relationship, communication, relationships with other staff- allowed the group to reflect on the negatives and positives of each instance, and what they could use from that to inform the way they worked in the future.

They were a lovely group and hopefully took away with them some useful hints and tips about writing for reflective practice.

If you want to brush up on your reflective writing and refresh your knowledge of reflective practice, why not book yourself onto our library skills sessions? Details can be found *here.

*Note: the advertised sessions are for Nurse Revalidation only.   Contact if you would like to discuss reflective writing sessions for non-nursing staff or your teams.


Thumbs up from students at Brighton & Sussex Medical School!

National Student Survey

The National Student Survey results are in and we’re pleased to report excellent results for BSMS. BSMS logo

Lisa McLaren, BSMS Librarian, has the details.

“BSMS has done well as usual, scoring 98% overall satisfaction and sitting 3rd in the leadership table, in what was a challenging year for curriculum change.

“The library service has also done incredibly well, based on figures sent from both BSMS and the University of Sussex. We scored 97% on Question 19, which is “The library resources (e.g. books, online services and learning spaces) have supported my learning well”, up 3% from an already great result in 2017. This puts us well ahead of the sector average of 86% and puts us 5th in the UK for library resources.

BSMS students

“On Question 18, “The IT resources and facilities provided have supported my learning well” we scored a little lower at 88%, which is still above the sector average of 83%. Given the many challenges we’ve had with IT and space in the Audrey Emerton, I think this is a great achievement.

“We are also included in Question 20, which is around having access to course specific materials and software, less of our remit, but it still falls under the remit of Learning Resources. As we scored another impressive 97% here, our overall average for the full category is 94%.

“We didn’t have any library specific comments this year, but as other libraries have taken big hits over the number of copies of books available and a lack of space in the library, this would suggest that on the whole, we’re getting those things right. And, of course, the 3Ts project might provide some options for study space as our cohort for medicine and nursing increase in the next few years. I’ve heard great things from the students about the desk staff in particular, around the friendliness, knowledge and kindness shown to the students and this is a major part in why we consistently score so high each year. The students really appreciate that personal and genuine interaction with everyone. So let’s keep up the excellent work with the new cohorts this year.”



How did we make a difference in 2016-17? Read our latest annual report

The Brighton and Sussex NHS Library and Knowledge Service Annual Report for 2016-17 has been published.  It briefly illustrates some of the ways our work has made an impact on patient care, service improvement, study, research and clinical teaching over the last year.

Annual Report 2016-17

The report shows how our services were used in comparison to previous years, with many areas showing increased activity in 2016-17.  In particular, the number of evidence search requests received, the number of teaching sessions run and the number of articles provided on request at short notice all went up this year.

Document Supply ChartTeaching chart

Usage of the online journals and databases that we purchase remained high, with only books (both print and electronic) showing a significant dip in usage.  Full details of activity and resource usage can be found in the report, along with case studies of how we made a difference to local staff and students, and updates on our changing team.

You can also read more about how our two clinical librarians are are contributing to Trust polices, guidelines and workforce planning in an earlier post.


Our students have put Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) in first position in the National Student Survey (NSS) for medical schools

It has been the most superb year for BSMS with excellent NSS results. BSMS have scored a near perfect 99% for overall satisfaction and are ranked first, the top spot for undergraduate medical degrees.

The quality of teaching was rated extremely highly, with 100% of participants agreeing that the course is intellectually stimulating and that they have been provided with opportunities to apply what they have learnt. In addition, 98% agreed that staff are good at explaining things and have made the subject interesting.

Dr Juliet Wright, Director of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning at BSMS, says: “I am delighted with our excellent results in the 2017 National Student Survey. Our staff are committed to providing students with an outstanding education in medicine, and the particularly high scores for teaching show we have been successful in achieving this. Results of 100% for the quality of the course and opportunities for students to apply what they have learnt, show that we are clearly preparing our students well for their future careers in the NHS.”

bsmsStudents felt strongly that BSMS provided a positive learning environment, with 97% believing that they felt part of a community of staff and students, and had the right opportunities to work with other students. Access to course-specific resources was also very high at 99%, and sufficient advice and guidance in relation to the course and opportunities to provide feedback both received 98%.

Praise for our document delivery service

If we don’t have what you need in stock, we’ll get it for you from another library. Just complete our online forms on the website:

For books:

For journal articles:

This is what our members say about the service:

ILLsTry it today and see for yourself!


Making a difference to patient care

We love hearing about how the service we provide to you contributes to patient care so were delighted to receive this email:

“You may be interested to know I would like this paper to give to a patient who is convinced that by being deeply critical of himself he will improve his behaviour. I think this research shows the opposite and supports him taking a more self-compassionate stance, which has been the subject of our work together. So I’d be using it directly in my clinical work.”   Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust

Thank you for sharing this with us.

100% satisfaction with our interlibrary loans service

Thank you to everyone who took part in our interlibrary loan survey in June. We are pleased to report that 100% of respondents were satisfied with the service and received the article/book in time to meet their need.

If you require a book or article that is not available in the libraries or with your OpenAthens password please use the request forms on the library website –

We will do our best to obtain the item for you.