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Monday 8th November 2004

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Welcome to the National Knowledge Service for Health and Social Care

Introduction from Professor Aidan Halligan, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Health

Aidan Halligan

"Knowledge is the currency of learning. We can only learn what we know. The National Knowledge Service is a pivotal component in the Department of Health's delivery on its promise to ensure a range of knowledge sources to fight disease and improve patient care."

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Background to the National Knowledge Service for Health and Social Care

Paragraph 13 of the Executive Summary of The Department of Health's Response to the Report of the Public Inquiry into children's heart surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary describes a "programme of reform" including the establishment of "a National Knowledge Service for the NHS to support the delivery of high quality information for patients and staff".

The Department of Health and the NHS already produce, procure and commission knowledge for patients and staff based on research, data and experience. This knowledge, however, is unconnected and difficult to find for the busy clinician or anxious patient.

The mission of the National Knowledge Service is to ensure that all these sources of knowledge are brought together to let patients and professionals base their decisions on best current knowledge. To do this the National Knowledge Service has three strategies:

  • developing common standards for the production and procurement of knowledge;
  • mobilising the knowledge so that there is a common core of knowledge integrated in every patient record and care pathway;
  • developing and implementing the technical standards and solutions to make these objectives possible.

This will be achieved through a partnership of NHS and DH knowledge providers.

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Organisation of the National Knowledge Service for Health and Social Care

The work of the National Knowledge Service is organised into Work Streams.

Ron Cullen

Ron Cullen is the is the Programme Director of the National Knowledge Service.

His primary responsibilities in this role are:

  • Maintaining the programme of work;
  • Identifying policy/guidance to support implementation of the National Knowledge Service;
  • Liaison with NKS Partners to produce packages to support the National Knowledge Service.

Ron is also the Head of the National Clinical Governance Support Team in the NHS Modernisation Agency, which is a partner in the National Knowledge Service.