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NHS Evidence

What is NHS Evidence?

NHS Evidence is a web-based service that provides easy access to high quality clinical and non-clinical information about health and social care.

Who is it for?

NHS Evidence is accessible free without any need for registration. However, it is primarily aimed at professionals and practitioners working in health and social care. For patient friendly information the public should visit NHS Choices.

For health professionals working in the NHS, the portal also provides access to subscription journals, via the Athens system.

How does it work?

NHS Evidence is accessed via the internet. It provides access to information through a web portal, built around a powerful enterprise search engine (Microsoft FAST).

The portal does not host any content, but searches external sources of information so that users can access it directly. All sources of content are subject to criteria to ensure relevant search results and to rule out anything that might be biased or partial.

A navigation menu allows users to refine a search by interest area, type of information, clinical queries, sources, medicines and devices.

It will take some time to reach full functionality, but already provides quicker and easier access to a broad range of good quality health and social care information.

The development of NHS Evidence is based on user feedback. There is a feedback form on the portal. You can also email contactus@evidence.nhs.uk or call 0845 003 77 44.

Specialist collections

The NHS Evidence Health Information Resources is made up of 34 specialist collections. Each collection is listed as ‘NHS Evidence – specialty’, for example, NHS Evidence – cancer. The purpose of the collections is to filter the huge quantity of published research.

NHS Evidence accreditation

Central to NHS Evidence is a robust accreditation scheme, so the most trusted sources will be recognised by a seal of approval (an accreditation mark). This will give users confidence in the information available and drive up standards in the longer term.

NHS Evidence is currently accrediting sources of guidance, which includes clinical guidelines, clinical summaries and best practice statements.

To gain accreditation guidance producers must demonstrate that the processes used to develop their products meet certain criteria.

Accreditation is granted by an independent accreditation advisory committee of experts and professionals.

A transparent process and method underpins all accreditation decisions. This includes open access to accreditation advisory committee meetings where the decisions are made.

A one-month public consultation allows stakeholders, including patients and carers, to comment on and inform the development of the accreditation advisory committee's decision.

The first accreditation awards are expected in October 2009.

Guidance is one subset of the resources available via NHS Evidence. In the future accreditation will be extended to cover other categories of information but is unlikely to cover all types of material available via NHS Evidence.

Help improve our service

At NHS Evidence we are creating a Virtual User Panel in the UK to help us identify new sources of content, provide feedback about how the search is working in every day practice and to comment on the quality of the records retrieved and information gaps. We are inviting enthusiastic health and social care professionals (clinical and non-clinical) with an interest in evidence based practice and experience of using web based information portals to join the Virtual User Panel.

Membership is voluntary and unpaid. The Virtual User Panel will work as a virtual team and communicate using email. If you are interested in joining our Virtual User Panel or would like more information please contact us at contactus@evidence.nhs.uk or visit our website.