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The right evidence at the right time

The right evidence at the right time is essential to the effective running of health care organisations.  LKS ASE works with staff at all levels to ensure their decisions are evidence based.  These are some of the stories we have collected from our users.  If you have a story you would like to tell us please do contact us

1. Working with Researchers

I requested a literature search on the subject of ambulance clinicians recognising patients approaching the end of life for referral to their primary care providers. LKS ASE identified 53 articles surrounding the subject as little literature on the specific subject exists. Detailed references together with abstracts supplied within 24 hours. The research contributes to a literature review associated with a national cross-sectional survey of paramedics on their experiences, knowledge and attitudes concerning identification of patients approaching the end of life. The search provided a larger body of literature within which to base the study. It will improve final dissemination of study results, benefitting locating the study in existing literature and enabling more detailed discussion.

Peter Eaton-Williams, Research Paramedic, SECAmb

9. Working with Leaders and Managers

“In 2021 our Board approved a 4-year management information strategy which has at its heart the recognition that we must constantly update our leadership and management skills to continue to deliver excellent patient care in an increasingly challenging health care environment.

We have been putting in place various resources to deliver this requirement, one of which is the access to management knowledge through LKS-ASE. As a long time user of the library services available to NHS staff I know what a fantastic resource it is, not only for clinical colleagues, but also those of us that work in the supporting services.

As somebody who has worked in many industries and countries, I recognise the importance of sharing concepts and experiences, and therefore I am particularly keen on the fact that it provides access to other industries in both the public and private sectors from around the World.

I am sure that the service will play a vital role in ensuring SCAS continues to innovate and make sure we are there for people when they need us most."

Simon Mortimore
Assistant Director for Business Information,
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

10. Working with researchers

“I used the services of the LKS ASE recently as I was conducting a scoping review in collaboration with some colleagues. One of them had accessed this service before so we consulted LKS ASE for support with our search strategy and literature search. The help we received was excellent. We received advice and reassurance with our search terms, and LKS ASE physically conducted our search. This was very useful as their expertise speeded up the process and assured quality in the process. Any questions that I had were answered comprehensively and promptly. Following this, I would encourage others to reach out for their expertise and guidance.” 

Rachel Pogson, Lecturer in Paramedic Science, Keele University

11. Supporting Student Paramedics

“I am a Band 6 paramedic currently studying my BSc Paramedic Science at Edgehill University. The dissertation module was extremely daunting as I had to conduct a small-scale research project. A comprehensive Literature review had to be conducted for this. I contacted Matt {Librarian] via email I was struggling to find appropriate papers to review. Matt very kindly assisted with this. He was able to explain the process, use of appropriate terminology, the correct Boolean operators and which recognised search engines to use. 

It was like magic! What had been taking hours of blood sweat and tears, was now done in minutes with Matt’s expert help. Not only was Matts help priceless, but it was also provided in such a timely fashion. I have already recommended Matt to other colleagues studying for their degree.” 

Clare Higgins, Student and Paramedic, NWAS 

13 Working to revise national guidelines

JRCALC is the clinical practice “Bible” for the UKs paramedic workforce. It’s use supports evidence based clinical practice hundreds of times every day in the UK. The process of reviewing the content is overseen by Ambulance Association of Chief Executives (AACE). I was delighted to be paired with a senior paramedic in a different ambulance trust as we undertook review of the “Electrical Injuries” guideline. Supported and guided by Matt, we reviewed new evidence and debated its relevance. We then included this agreed new content, reviewed and simplified the flow of the guideline into a user friendly form. It was an absolute pleasure to work with both Matt [Holland] and Rosie [Conmy, London Ambulance Service] in shaping a JRCALC guideline.

Dr. Kat Noble, Medical Director, Yorkshire Ambulance Service

2. Evidence for Work Based Projects

Summary of problem or reason for enquiry

I was unable to source any robust data regarding Community Paramedic interaction with Patient Participation Groups [PPGs] in the UK health economy. The reason for enquiry to the library was to ascertain if any data, literature or contemporary studies had been undertaken in this area. I wanted to find any lessons could be taken from them and help inform my interaction with these groups or any guidance on how best to co-ordinate focus groups.

Brief description of the information found / service provided

Information relating to the history of PPGs was found and the context in which they now operate within the health service.  No recent contemporary studies were sourced but earlier studies yielded invaluable early perspectives on formal patient interaction.  I also found advice on how to document my involvement with PPGs and translate that into a piece of formal research which could potentially be published in a professional journal.”

Summary of outcomes and impacts

a) A better-defined strategy for PPG engagement and a more robust rationale for engagement with PPGs.  Better able to run focus groups.  Literature helped to inform my strategy for engaging with the x5 PPGs. b) Navigation of the various research databases has become easier, with appropriate search terms and documentation of reference material.

Contribute to the developing the literature concerning paramedic practice. c) Develop future research on patient involvement and Community Paramedicine. “ 

Community Specialist Paramedic, NWAS

4. Working to revise national guidelines

The JRCALC clinical guidelines are now used by all NHS ambulance service paramedics and a range of other clinicians. The guidelines are accessible through an App which can be rapidly updated with any new guidance. The library service has helped by providing a service where we can request a literature review of available evidence to support a revision or a new guideline in development. A rapid turnaround of this has helped us immensely with guidelines including:

  • Acute behavioural disturbance
  • Mental health presentation: Crisis, distress and disordered behaviour
  • Vascular emergencies

Additionally, there have been occasions where we have requested a paper, to support a query or the further development of a guideline. The turnaround and quality of the correspondence and receipt of papers is always prompt.

Having an expert librarian, and one point of contact to assist us, has saved us a lot of work and time, has improved the rigor and effectiveness of our ongoing guideline work and is invaluable to us.

We are delighted to continue to work in partnership with the LKS to develop evidence-based clinical guidance for UK NHS ambulance service paramedics, to improve patient care for our patients.

Dr Alison Walker, Chair-Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee

6. Evidence for Work Based Projects

The library services conducted a literature search on ketone testing in ambulance services, A comprehensive literature search carried out and returned same day.  Almost instant evidence provided to support a clinical audit.  The search supports a clinical audit and future research project which in turn we hope will reduce hospital conveyances.

Paramedic, SCAS

12. Working with Researchers

Some colleagues and I working on a project together have recently used the services of the LKS ASE when conducting a scoping review. As an early career researcher, I lacked confidence in my searching ability and therefore required some support. I was unaware of the availability of this service, however a colleague involved in the project recommended it. The support we received from Matt was fantastic – he provided timely and thorough emails and was very willing to discuss via Teams meetings too. Not only did he physically complete the search for us, but he also guided us through how the search was completed, step-by-step, for our own education and learning. As a result, I feel more confident in my searching ability, as well as reassured that our project has a robust and comprehensive literature search behind it.

Rachael Gundry, Paramedic/Researcher, College of Paramedics

3. Evidence for Work Based Projects

The library service is massively important to my work.  The area I work in can be very difficult to evidence with internal data, so the information the library provides is essential in being able to provide proof of various concepts.

Doing the research myself would take a long time, not be as efficient, and probably prove lacklustre in response.  Being able to provide one source for my query, and then get a result back with rich pickings for research is invaluable.

On this occasion I was after information around personal safety equipment.  The reason for this is a large piece of work I am leading that will result in a procurement of equipment and ultimately keep staff safe.  The libraries assistance will directly improve the safety of our staff as we go forward with this process.

Dan Jones, Local Security Management Specialist (LSMS), Risk Management, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

5. Working with Researchers

I contacted the LKS to help with performing a literature search into the use of inhaled alcohol as a treatment for nausea and vomiting.

LKS provided a comprehensive search, along with the supporting search strategy, and identified 20 relevant papers. These papers were relevant to the topic being reviewed and informed the ongoing systematic review.

The search identified 20 relevant papers which we refined down to 2 that met the inclusion/exclusion criteria for our review.

The help from the LKS enabled us to rapidly move forward with our systematic review with confidence that the search had been done in a robust fashion. We were unable to locate any missed literature from other sources.

The review has already been submitted to one conference and is being written up for publication. We will definitely use the LKS for future literature searches.

Graham McCelland, Research Paramedic, NEAS

7. Working with Researchers

"LKS ASE is an extremely useful service for anyone conducting a robust literature search. My experiences to date were very positive. As a PhD student after developing a search strategy, I consulted LKS ASE to see if it could be improved so no relevant papers were missed from my systematic review. As a researcher undertaking a systematic review of literature on the effectiveness of pain management in the paediatric population, the team and I sought advice from LKS ASE.

I chair the European Pre-hospital Research Network. LKS ASE supports us in delivering our objectives by searching for and publishing the latest research-based publications on our website.

The LKS ASE also helps our learners in searching existing evidence base for their academic assignments."

Kacper Sumera, Deputy Head of Education, East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

8. Working with Researchers

The importance of robust research methodology is vital in all forms of healthcare, but it has grown enormously within the paramedic profession over the past decade. As the paramedic profession has moved ever increasingly into higher education for both the core profession and for paramedics specialising in other areas of healthcare, the support provided by employers has become vital. The emergence of posts such as research paramedics and Trust librarians, provides superb support for paramedics embarking on academic qualifications or undertaking quality improvement work within the workplace setting.

I have used Trust librarian services on several occasions over the past few years, especially in attempts to examine the literature. The National Ambulance Clinical Supervision Framework was founded on a thorough knowledge of the evidence relating to restorative clinical supervision. It was our starting point in developing the framework around best practice and best evidence. We have also explored a number of clinical areas of work for paramedics rotating into primary care, including improvements in asthma management and frailty assessment.

Librarian services supported by the HEI partnerships, have been incredibly responsive to our requests and I have been delighted with the improvements in care that these pieces of work will bring.

Mark Newton, Associate Director of Transformation and Integration, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust