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Library Services



LibrarySkills@UCL for NHS staff

A guide to information literacy and library skills for NHS staff from Trusts supported by UCL Library Services, to inform clinical practice, study and research.

Evidence Based Resources

There are many excellent resources NHS staff can use to access evidence based information. Some of the key resources are outlined below. These include:

When making evidence-based clinical decisions, it is essential to find the highest level of evidence available such as summaries, guidelines and synthesised evidence (secondary evidence). However, if you cannot find suitable evidence for your clinical question then you may have to consider lower levels of evidence such as RCTs, case reports, case series and journal articles (primary evidence) which are found by searching Bibliographic databases.

BMJ Best Practice

BMJ Best Practice app logo

BMJ Best Practice uses the latest evidence-based research, guidelines and expert opinion to offer step-by-step guidance on diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prevention. There is also a BMJ Best Practice App providing access to information on over 1000 conditions. The information is broken down into handy sections, including prevention, diagnosis, and management. The app also includes more than 250 interactive medical calculators.

To access BMJ Best Practice or download the app using your NHS OpenAthens details, please follow the link below.

Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library is a collection of databases that provide high-quality, independent evidence to support decision making in healthcare. These include:

  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
  • Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trails (CENTRAL)
  • Cochrane Clinical Answers
  • and more...

For full details on how to access, search and use the Cochrane Library, please see our online guide:

NHS NICE Evidence Search and TRIP Database

NICE Evidence Search provides access to selected, quality health and social care evidence and best practice, and brings together in one place evidence on health, drugs and technologies, public health, social care, and healthcare management and commissioning. Sources include the British National Formulary, Clinical Knowledge Summaries, SIGN, the Cochrane Library and Royal Colleges, Social Care Online and GOV.UK.

TRIP Database (Turning Research into Practice) a clinical search engine which finds references to high-quality research evidence such as systematic reviews, guidelines, articles from peer-reviewed journals, patient information leaflets and medical images. Social media content (wikis, podcasts and webcasts) and UK approved education are also available through TRIP. Many of the resources are freely available, although a subscription is required to view all content in TRIP.


UpToDate app logo

Please note that UpToDate is only available in some NHS Trusts, please enquire with your UCL NHS Home Library to check if you have access.

UpToDate is a leading evidence-based knowledge system to help clinicians make the right decisions at the point of care. UpToDate content includes 12000 topics, 9300 graded recommendations and 6500 unique drug monographs. There is also an accompanying UpToDate app available to provide answers to your clinical questions anytime, anywhere. It provides access to the full content, search over an internet connection and bookmark topics for offline access.

Set up a personal account by accessing UpToDate via a Trust computer and register your details. Once registered, you can access the resource from anywhere and download the app on upto two mobile devices using your account details. To keep your remote account active you will need to log in via a Trust computer at least every 90 days