Health news

Debunking the Myth: Access to University Resources for Health Service Staff

A common misconception among health service decision-makers and senior staff is that clinicians have access to the vast array of resources provided by their 'partner' university libraries. In truth, access to university resources is limited to a small fraction of the health service workforce. These resources, including extensive journal subscriptions, specialised databases and research tools are typically licensed only to university staff, students and those with conjoint or affiliate status. Let's consider this scenario: In a health service with approximately 21,000 clinical staff, approximately 1,500 have access to university resources, this translates to 7.14% of the clinical workforce. The remaining 92.86% must rely on the often more limited resources provided by state-based portals and their health service library. The distribution of this access is heavily skewed. Health service decision-makers and senior doctors are far more likely to have university affiliations, granting them privileged access to resources. In contrast, junior doctors, the majority of nursing staff and allied health professionals are frequently left without such access. This disparity has several implications: 1. Information inequity: It creates a two-tiered system where a small minority has access to a wealth of information while the majority does not. 2. Research barriers: Health service staff without University access may find it more challenging to engage in research or stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their fields. 3. Career development hurdles: Limited access to resources can hinder professional development and career advancement opportunities for many healthcare professionals. 4. Potential to impact patient care: Disparities in access to the latest research could affect the quality and consistency of patient care. Recognising the reality is crucial to ensuring adequate funding for health service libraries to support the information needs of the entire workforce effectively and ensuring equitable access to vital healthcare information for staff at all levels and disciplines. Angela Smith, Library Manager for HNE Health Libraries


Laptops for loan at Tamworth

In response to the valuable feedback from the survey, there are now laptops for borrowing at the Tamworth library branch. Now, with 8 laptops ready for use only within the Tamworth library. We are eager to provide you with the tools you need to enhance your learning and exploration within our library.

How to request a laptop

Library Manager, Angela Smith co-authored a paper on the essential support provided by librarians in medical education

Our Library Manager, Angela Smith has co-authored a compelling paper titled Time to set a standard for the standards: health libraries provide crucial support for Australian medical training programs. This article highlights the essential role of health librarians in supporting medical education and emphasises the urgent need to establish benchmark accreditation standards for health libraries in Australia.

HNE Health Libraries urges everyone to take a moment to read the article.

Avian Influenza H5N1 resources for NSW Health staff

On 22 May 2024, a webinar was held on the current Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 situation, supported by specialists from NSW Department of Primary Industries, Health Protection NSW, NSW Health Pathology, the NSW Biocontainment Centre and Clinical Excellence Commission. NSW Health staff can click here to access the recording of the highly informative webinar. Please note that the information was correct at 22 May 2024 and as of today remains current.

Several NSW factsheets have been recently updated to support communication with patients and the public about the risks of Avian Influenza.

These are available online:

Avian influenza factsheet
Avian influenza – information for contacts factsheet
Be Careful Around Wildlife

Any questions about this recording or resources can be directed to the One Health Branch, Health Protection NSW:

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