01st June 2016 Written by Skills for Health

Image: Sarah Massey.To celebrate International Children’s Day on June 1st, Skills for Health and National Skills Academy have launched a week-long celebration to honour our children’s health heroes, giving everyone a chance to say ‘thank you’ to those who work in paediatric care – whether they’re volunteers, cleaners, postmen or chefs.

While they aren’t one of the first groups of staff that spring to mind when you think of children’s healthcare, the staff at Sheffield Children’s Hospitals’ library make a huge difference to families – both directly and indirectly.


Welcome to the Library

Library staff help clinicians get the information they need to improve the care of patients by providing access to textbooks and other information sources. They also run a Journal Club teaching staff and trainees how to evaluate data and InfoBites classes on useful subjects. Librarians also spend time helping clinicians with literature searches; this is often far quicker as the librarians are used to carrying out these searches, it also frees up the clinician to spend more time with patients and their families.

The Library team, run by Sarah Massey, is very popular with the clinicians. One said: “The library team in this hospital are amazing. They spend enormous amounts of time helping me and specifically I value the ability to perform literature searches when I am faced with difficult patients with rare conditions, which helps with finding potential causes and tests, as well as treatments.”

‘The best service’

Another said: “Sarah and her team have investigated around 150 evidence-based literature reviews for the paediatric rheumatology team in the past year. Sarah has become an integral member of our team and her work has been invaluable for the rapidly expanding rheumatology service, particularly with the ever-changing demands of new medicines within our field. The service the library offers cannot be praised enough.”

Finally, one Clinician said: “There is no doubt that the staff help me to deliver the best service I can, improve patient care, without the families knowing they exist, and provide good training for staff.”

Sarah says Relax!

Parents and carers can also use the library to access literature about children’s health, to borrow fiction books and lighter reads, to use computers for general tasks like checking emails and internet banking or just to relax with a hot drink away from the wards.

The Library team are so valued in the Hospital that they won the award for Best Contribution from a Non-Clinical Support Service in the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Star Awards in March, following a large number of nominations.

During our Paediatrics Week and International Children’s Day celebrations we will be honouring healthcare support workers, just like the library team, from across the UK and the vital roles they play in our children’s paediatric care.

To get involved or just to find out what we have been up to you can follow the updates here: www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/ourhealthheroes

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