NHS Evidence

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NHS Evidence was a government-funded resource in the United Kingdom that supplied information, research, evidence and best practice guidance for health, social care and public health. It was archived in 2009 as part of NHS Evidence - National Library for Public Health, formerly a Specialist Library of the National Library for Health.[1] NHS Evidence Health Information Resources existed to support clinicians by providing access to the best possible knowledge and know-how available.[2] NHS Evidence was a service provided by the UK National Institute for Healthcare Excellence (NICE).

NHS Evidence was aimed at health and social care workers and designed to help students, specialists, clinicians, managers, commissioners, and health providers make better and quicker evidence-based decisions. The service was provided by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence since its foundation in April 2009 as part of Lord Darzi's strategy for the future of the NHS, High-Quality Care for All,[3] which identified a clear need for better access to information for NHS staff to deliver the highest quality care. Its budget in 2009 and 2010 was £19,433,000, which was raised to £24,438,000 in 2010 and 2011.[4]

NHS Evidence allowed users to search over 100 health and social care databases simultaneously, including The Cochrane Library, British National Formulary and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. It comprised an increasing number of 'specialist collections', covering a diversity of topics, from clinical areas such as 'Cancer' or 'Eyes and Vision' to issues relating to 'cross-cutting' topics relating to specific user groups, such as 'ethnicity'[5] with information about the particular healthcare needs of minority ethnic groups, and evidence about inequalities in health attributable to cultural, religious or 'racial' differences.[6] Other 'crosscutting' topics included 'later life' and child health, while more specialist collections relate to differing professional or management areas of health care, such as commissioning, screening, and complementary medicines.


Information available via NHS Evidence included clinical and public health guidance, government policy, patient information, drug information, systematic reviews, primary research and grey literature.

There were six 'lots', or categories of data available, defined by the NICE Framework:[7]

Lot number Content type Provider
1 Print Journals Swets; EBSCO.
2 Electronic Journals Swets; EBSCO; Ovid; SAGE; BMJ PG; OUP.
3 Print Books Blackwells; Tomlinsons; Dawson; Coutts; Waterstones.
4 Electronic Books EBSCO; Ovid; OUP; Blackwell's; Dawson; Coutts, 123Doc.
5 Databases EBSCO; Ovid; ProQuest; Pharmaceutical Press.
6 Aggregated Evidence Summaries BMJ PG; EBSCO.

NHS Evidence – Quality and Productivity helped the NHS identify efficiency savings that could be made while continuing to deliver high-quality care. The Department of Health's Quality and Productivity project was designed to help NHS organisations make the necessary savings without compromising the quality of care and services. NHS Evidence – Quality and Productivity was part of this initiative. It provided access to evidence on how to improve quality and productivity within the NHS, including examples of innovative local practices. Content covered the best available evidence, tools and techniques, measurement, case studies and policy on all aspects of innovation and improvement. NHS Evidence – Quality and Productivity, provided users with real examples of how staff are improving quality and productivity across the NHS.[8][9]

Organisations achieving high standards in producing guidance could be identified on NHS Evidence by a seal of approval called an Accreditation Mark. An independent advisory committee takes decisions about which organisations are awarded the Accreditation Mark based on rigorous analysis and assessment. Organisations are awarded the Accreditation Mark for three years. Their performance is reviewed regularly.[10]

Eyes on Evidence was a free monthly e-bulletin newsletter by NICE which provided updates on major new evidence as it emerged with an explanation about what it meant for current practice.[11]

See also

The Norwegian Electronic Health Library (Helsebiblioteket.no) is a similar public website for health professionals and students.


  1. ^ "UK Government Web Archive". webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  2. ^ "UK Government Web Archive". webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  3. ^ "Our NHS Our Future: NHS Next Stage Review Leading Local Change". Department of Health. May 2008. 084644
  4. ^ "Budget for NHS Evidence - a Freedom of Information request to National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence". 16 March 2010.
  5. ^ Ethnicity and health
  6. ^ "Ethnicity and Health". NICE. Archived from the original on 16 February 2007.
  7. ^ "NICE Electronic & Print Content Framework". NICE. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  8. ^ "NHS Evidence - quality and productivity". Archived from the original on 12 May 2010.
  9. ^ Department of Health (13 August 2009). "Implementing the Next Stage Review visions: the quality and productivity challenge". Archived from the original on 7 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Accreditation". NICE.
  11. ^ "About us". NICE. Archived from the original on 23 May 2013.

External links


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