Knowledge is Power
Health Information Week runs from 3-9th July 2017 and aims to improve access to quality local information and promote healthier communities.
In Manchester, the Knowledge Service works year-round to improve local healthcare by providing access to the latest information and resources. The service is based in the Fallowfield Library and is available to anyone working in Health and Social Care in Manchester.
The distribution of quality information enables people to better manage their own health and wellbeing and make fully informed decisions about their treatment and care.
It also helps health professionals ensure that the methods and techniques they use in practice are evidence-based. This is vitally important as healthcare is a field which is constantly evolving, with new discoveries being made all the time.
Knowledge Service Manager, Dan Livesey, describes some of the ways the service informs and supports local healthcare provision:
“We conduct searches of existing medical literature on behalf of other NHS staff members. This helps them stay up-to-date with new research and guidelines in their areas of interest. The information sources we use are carefully screened to make sure they are reliable and credible.
“Our health demonstration models are used to deliver key messages to the public in innovative ways. They help to make the learning process more fun and accessible. Direct, hands-on experiences can make complex health information much more impactful.”
The Knowledge Service has a comprehensive collection of books on health and wellbeing.
“The most popular books we have at the moment are activity-based workbooks. As opposed to a typical textbook, these books are more useful for practitioners when it comes to addressing difficult issues such as mental health with their patients,” said Dan.
In addition, the service offers leaflets on a wide variety of health topics.
“The majority of the leaflets we stock meet The Information Standard certification requirements. This is a seal of approval from NHS England which means that all of the information contained in the leaflet is of high quality,” said Lorna Dawson, Knowledge Service Assistant.
Nowadays a lot of people turn to the internet as a first port of call when looking for health information. While the internet is a helpful resource, when it comes to health, this approach is not ideal.
“When you Google something the top results are not necessarily the most reliable results. Often top-listed web pages have paid to be placed in that prominent position. This means people end up believing health information which has no scientific backing at all. In certain cases, following this information can actually be harmful to your health,” said Dan.
Quality health information can be found online by visiting trusted, credible websites such as NHS Choices.
For more information on the Knowledge Service please contact:
0161 248 1912 or Daniel.Livesey@gmmh.nhs.uk