The 10 biomedical libraries and collections have a long-established role central to supporting UCL’s students, scientists and healthcare partners. A framework for the libraries' relationship with the National Health Service has been provided by a Service Level Agreement since 2004. This provision is now of such importance that Support for Healthcare has been made a Key Performance Area in its own right.
Specific goals include: the alignment of strategies, in order to ensure that the objectives of the Library are in harmony with those of the NHS Trusts and UCL Partners; enhancing access to resources, for which ensuring continuity of funding is vital; further development of professional skills, so that Library staff are able to provide specialist information support (eg, at point of care); and building on existing partnerships. Within this framework, there was during 2010-2011 a particular focus on developing partnerships at both a local and regional level. This took place during a period of healthcare reorganisation and in the context of enhanced collaboration between Higher Education and the NHS to drive innovation and the translation of research into practice. Particularly significant were the negotiations undertaken nationally for the five Academic Health Science Centres (including UCL Partners), co-ordinated by JISC Collections, that led to a pilot programme for extending access to UCL’s electronic resources to healthcare staff in five of our associated NHS Trusts. The pilot, initially for a calendar year from January 2011, involved several publishers: Elsevier, Nature Publishing Group, Springer, Thomson Reuters and Wolters Kluwer Health. It is intended that the pilot will form the basis for scoping a model that might be scalable to a wider part of the healthcare community in future.
This is to acknowledge the invaluable support of Ms Debbie Heatlie and library services which have supported Moorfields and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology in the provision of bibliometric data. This support has been critical in ensuring our successful bid for a National Institute of Health Research Biomedical Research Centre. Data provided showed that UCL is a pre-eminent centre in the world and this was extremely important in helping us to achieve a 40% uplift in our funding. This data is also extremely important when we present in the United States and around the world and helps us to be much more competitive for grants.
In summary, the library services and the individuals here provided a truly invaluable service to our academic and also our teaching and clinical missions, all critical components of the UCL Partners academic health science centre.