Mid and South Essex Healthcare Libraries

Mid and South Essex Healthcare Libraries

Our purpose is to support the practice of evidence-based care within the Trust and ensure that all staff have access to the resources they need which will result in the best possible care and experience for our patients. 

Our libraries are located at Basildon, Broomfield and Southend Hospitals, and our staff are here for every member of the Trust, including all students on placement. 

We also provide services to Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust (EPUT), Provide CIC and Pathology First (PF), Primary Care (Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board).

Our library teams include professional, qualified librarians with years of experience working in healthcare who are supported by knowledgeable and responsive library assistants.

We support evidence-based care, research, education, and your personal and professional development in a number of ways - click on each section below to find out more.

Our staffed hours are 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday-Friday, but all sites provide you with 24-hour library access. EPUT and PF staff please check for access arrangements.

MSEFT Publications repository

The repository contains the records of published research authored by NHS staff working for Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust.
Authors may supply lists of their publications, and these can be added for the time that they are affiliated with MSE (or the pre-merged Trusts) from 2008 to present.


QR code linking to the MSE Libraries membership form You can become a member by completing this online form, or by scanning the QR code to the right. Paper forms are also available at your chosen library site.

Membership is open to all Mid and South Essex Trust staff and students on placement. It's also open to Provide, EPUT, Mid & South Essex Primary Care and specific Pathology First staff. Our libraries are located at:

  • Basildon - in the Education Centre
  • Broomfield - in a building behind the Medical Academic Unit
  • Southend - in the Education Centre

If you register online, you will need to provide your nhs.net email as proof of eligibility. In person, you will need to produce your Trust ID badge. Remember to keep us updated of any changes to your address, email or telephone number. 

All members will get a library number and a PIN - this allows you to use our self-service machines and log into the members area of our catalogue to place holds and renew books.  

By joining the library you are agreeing to our Membership Conditions and our Privacy Policy. Our User Charter can be found here.

If you are responsible for new starters in your department please remember to organise a library induction as part of their introduction to the Trust. 

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Our facilities

Each library has space available for group or individual study.

There are networked PCs available (these are connected to the site networks). Due to our information security policy, no USB sticks can be used.

Printers and photocopiers/scanners are available. Black and white printing costs 5p per A4 sheet and colour printing costs 10p per A4 sheet.

Across our sites, we hold approximately 18,000 books - you can also request books that are not currently held by us through our catalogue.

Self-issue machines are available to make it easy for you to borrow or return books at any time. Please remember to bring your library card/barcode with you.

There are also areas where you can relax quietly away from the work environment, or sit and enjoy fiction, jigsaws and colouring.

“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer.”  Leonardo da Vinci

Contact our libraries:

Basildon Healthcare Library

Call 01268 593594 or email mse.library@nhs.net

Broomfield Healthcare Library 

Call 01245 514708 or email  mse.library@nhs.net

Southend Healthcare Library

Call 01702 385468 or email mse.library.suhft@nhs.net

Follow us on twitter: @MSELibraries

Books and the Library Catalogue (ELMS)

From the Library catalogue you can search for items by title, keywords or by subject. This search covers the collections of every NHS library in the East of England or can be narrowed to a specific site or group, and books can be reserved and sent to your chosen library for collection.

Most books may be borrowed for four weeks, and will automatically be renewed three times (where applicable), provided that they have not been requested by anyone else. 

Books can be returned to the library or left in the drop boxes available at each site.

Books can be issued and returned using the self-service machine in the library - this is available 24/7.

Requesting books

If we don't have the book you need, we may be able to get it for you through our various library networks. 

To request a book, please first check the Library catalogue. Log in with your user ID and PIN - please request this from the Library if you do not have one.

Search the item details of the book you wish to borrow and if listed, click 'Place a reservation' (located beneath book details), enter your 'Pick up location' and click 'Confirm reservation'. You will be notified by email/phone when it is available to collect. 

If a book is not available through the Library catalogue, you can put in a request via the interlibrary loan module. Log in with your user ID and PIN.

Select 'Your interlibrary loan requests' and then click 'Create a new request' then accept the Copyright Declaration statement.

In the drop down menu choose the 'Type' of item you want to request.

Complete the form with as many details as you can, enter the destination library (where you would like to collect it from) and click 'Create'.

Please complete a separate form for each request.

Alternatively, you can email your library with the book details.

In some cases there will be a charge for book requests - you will be notified if this applies.

Special Collections

  • Health and Wellbeing - our libraries have a collection of self-help books on common conditions, such as anxiety, depression and chronic pain. The titles have been selected in consultation with the Occupational Health team. 

  • Mood-Boosting - to complement the health and wellbeing collection, we also have collections of mood-boosting fiction and poetry. 

  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion - we have a collection of books related to all areas of equality, diversity and inclusion.


Each site has a small fiction collection and welcomes donations of pre-loved books in good condition.

NHS OpenAthens and Electronic Resources

To access any of our electronic resources you will need an NHS OpenAthens username and password.

Registering for NHS OpenAthens:

Watch this video on how to register or follow the steps below:

Step 1

  • Complete the online registration form
  • Registering with an NHS email will speed up the registration process
  • Select the organisation you are EMPLOYED by
  • Tick to read and accept the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Notice
  • Click Register to submit the form.

Step 2

  • You will receive an email from Eduserv OpenAthens.
  • Click the link in the email within 24hr to activate the account. You will be prompted to enter your own password.
  • Make a note of your username and password, as you will need these each time you log on. You can also use your email address instead of your username if you find this easier to remember.

You can now access ALL the subscribed resources from ANY PC, anywhere, anytime. 

If you register using a non-NHS networked PC and a private email address, there may be a delay in granting you access to the online resources.

If you've forgotten your password and/or username, you can find instructions for resetting them here

Electronic Resources

Discover the Knowledge and Library Services (KLS) HUB

Your Gateway to Information. All of our electronic resources can now be accessed through one search screen. This includes over 7,000 journals, clinical decision support tools, NICE pathways and guidelines, and clinical databases.

To access, please choose:

If you would like to know more or learn how to use the tool effectively, contact your site library

Additional resources

BMJ Best Practice (for all organisations)

BMJ Best Practice takes you quickly and accurately to the latest evidence-based information, whenever and wherever you need it. It includes step-by-step guidance on diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prevention and is updated daily using robust evidence-based methodology and expert opinion. BMJ Best Practice is available to all of the NHS in England who have a valid NHS OpenAthens login.

The app gives you access to clinical information wherever you are, even when you are offline.

BMJ Best Practice subscription includes the Comorbidities Manager for all NHS staff and learners in England. In the UK alone, one in three patients admitted to hospital as an emergency has five or more conditions. Clinical guidelines only focus on single conditions; the Comorbidities Manager supports the management of the whole patient by including guidance on the treatment of a patient’s acute condition alongside their pre-existing comorbidities. 

Funded by HEE, on desktop or app, 24/7 on and offline, the NHS in England can use BMJ Best Practice for free via NHS OpenAthens. More at bmj.com/hee

BMJ Case Reports (for MSE staff)

BMJ is an award-winning journal that delivers a focused, peer-reviewed, valuable collection of cases in all disciplines so that healthcare professionals, researchers and others can easily find clinically important information on common and rare conditions. This is the largest single collection of case reports online with more than 11,000 articles from over 70 countries. 

If you are looking to publish a case report, follow the 'Instructions for Authors'-  this includes a user guide and help on how to submit cases.You can obtain our fellowship code by emailing the library at mse.library@nhs.net.

ClinicalKey (for MSE staff)

A dynamic and fully searchable healthcare resource designed to provide clinicians with fast, clinically-relevant answers from Elsevier’s library of medical and surgical content including 750+ ejournals and 1000+ ebooks. 

ClinicalSkills (for MSE staff)

Nursing Procedure Guidelines available to all staff helping you to put best evidence into practice. Login in here, select Institutional Access and enter your valid NHS OpenAthens password to access the 350+ procedures. 

Cochrane Library (for all organisations) 

The Cochrane Library is considered the gold standard site for systematic reviews and evidence-based medicine. It contains high-quality evidence to inform healthcare decision-making, including reliable evidence such as systematic reviews and randomised clinical trials (RCTs) as well as technology assessments and economic evaluations.

For training materials, please visit the Cochrane Library Training Hub, which will include videos, webinar sessions, recorded webinars, and other resources. Simply complete the one-time sign up, and you will have access to this regularly updated Training Hub for free. Sign up to the latest training webinars for instant access to the new features and enhancements.

eLearning Hub (formerly CPD Online) (for EPUT doctors only)

CPD Online is the learning resource for mental health professionals from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. This self-teaching and online learning resource offers a wealth of online learning modules and podcasts covering a vast range of topics. It provides a flexible, interactive way of keeping up to date with progress in mental health, and complements the College's other long-established CPD activities such as Advances in Psychiatric Treatment.

Email our OpenAthens Administrator at mse.library@nhs.net to request access to eLearning Hub if you are employed as a Doctor. You need to provide your NHS OpenAthens username.

HSJ (for senior staff at MSE)

HSJ provides access to the latest NHS news and jobs for  healthcare leaders. HSJ local is an invaluable resource that allows you to keep up-to-date with your local NHS organisations, preparing you for any conversations that you may have.

You can access a user guide online to help you make the most of the service. 

MSE senior staff can request access to HSJ, please email the library at mse.library@nhs.net.

KnowledgeShare (for all organisations)

KnowledgeShare is our targeted current awareness service. The alerts include resources such as guidelines, systematic reviews and selected high-level journals - you will not be inundated with primary research articles. Please complete a registration form to set up a current awareness service tailored to your professional interests. In order to access the KnowledgeShare system, you need to log in using your NHS OpenAthens ID.

Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines (for all organisations)

The Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines in Psychiatry is the essential evidence-based handbook on the safe and effective prescribing of psychotropic agents which is available with a valid NHS OpenAthens password.

Oxford Handbook Ebooks (for all organisations)

You have access to the Oxford Handbooks collection with a valid NHS OpenAthens login.

Select Sign in via your institution - Enter - NHS in England - to log in with your NHS OpenAthens account. 

To see what Ebooks are included, click on Advanced Search, select Books (which will list all books on the platform), then select Purchased.  This will show you all books included in this collection.

The Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures (for all organisations)

RMMO provides evidence-based clinical skills and procedures related to essential aspects of a patient's care with a valid NHS OpenAthens password. Clinical nurse experts from one of the UK’s leading centres of expertise have brought together all the latest clinical evidence nurses need to meet confidently the requirements of their demanding profession. The Manual includes over 350 evidence-based clinical procedures related to every aspect of care, from handwashing to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. 

TRIP (for all organisations)

TRIP is a search engine aimed at health professionals looking for clinical research literature to support patient care, it is available to all of the NHS in England. You can use your NHS OpenAthens account to log in.

UpToDate (for MSE staff)

UpToDate is a dynamic, comprehensive, up-to-date, peer-reviewed and fully cross-referenced online evidence-based Point of Care clinical resource.

You can access it while on the MSE network and after registration, you will be able to access this resource without the need to log in and install the App on up to two mobile devices. 

You can still access this resource from outside the Trust via a browser, as long as you have a valid NHS OpenAthens account. To access the full text, you will need to select Log in with 'OpenAthens' and enter your valid NHS OpenAthens username and password. 

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Evidence Searches and Information Skills Training

Evidence Searches

Our evidence search service is available to staff who need evidence-based information to support:

  • patient care queries 
  • service planning and development 
  • audits 
  • writing / updating guidelines 
  • writing / updating patient information 
  • writing / publications
  • quality improvement
  • research 
  • teaching 
  • presentations 

Searches are carried out by qualified librarians and results are emailed to you. 

To request a search email us at mse.library@nhs.net.

You will need to provide as much detail as possible about your search:

  • The topic to be searched 
  • Suggested keywords – including synonyms and American terminology and spellings 
  • The date range to be covered 
  • The patient group (if relevant) eg adults, children, outpatients, critical care etc 
  • The reason for the search eg for patient care, for research, writing a guideline etc.

We will contact you to discuss your search further if necessary.

We usually ask for at least seven working days to complete a search, though often searches are completed quicker. Searches for immediate patient care are always prioritised. Please inform us if you have a particular deadline to meet.

This service is not available to students, but we are happy to support you in undertaking your own search.

If you would like training on how to search healthcare databases yourself then please email us at mse.library@nhs.net or see below details of training offered.

Information Skills Training

These sessions are delivered online through MS Teams. However, courses can also be run for individuals or teams/departments.  To book and enquire about training dates, email us at mse.library@nhs.net.

Clear Communication: Empowering patients in healthcare (Health Literacy)

This workshop investigates the impact of low health literacy and why our communication with patients is important. How do we make health information accessible and understandable to all? We look at the causes and impacts of low health literacy with reference to local areas. It will provide space for discussion as well as useful tips and communication methods.

Critical Appraisal of Qualitative Research

This workshop will guide participants through the appraisal process of a qualitative research paper and explain the principals involved, including how it differs from appraising quantitative studies. Participants will learn about what critical appraisal is and applying it to qualitative studies. The use of tools and checklists when critically appraising, will also be covered.

Critical Appraisal of a Randomised Controlled Trial

This workshop will acquaint participants with the statistics and terminology used in a Randomised Controlled Trial. There will be the opportunity to appraise a paper and also see it in the context of a systematic review.

Finding the Evidence

This workshop aims to enable participants to develop focussed search strategies, to search the NHS healthcare databases for relevant evidence, and research confidently and efficiently.

Introduction to Generative AI

Whether you are a student, researcher, or professional seeking to stay ahead of the curve, this course provides a foundation in generative AI, empowering you to contribute to this rapidly evolving field. 

Introduction to Harvard Referencing

An introduction to why and how we reference other people's work. Learn how to write in-text citations and how to format reference list entries for common types of sources in Harvard style (cite them right).

Introduction to Your Library Resources

An introduction to the wide range of resources available to you including health databases, journals, point of care products, and other support tools. We will also cover how to access the resources using your NHS OpenAthens account.

3 Apps to Support Your Clinical Decision Making

An introduction to UpToDate, BMJ Best Practice and ClinicalKey. All downloadable apps for your mobile phone to support your decision making at the point of care.

Reflective Writing

This workshop uses theory, models and practical examples to explore how to write reflective pieces for your re-validation, appraisals, portfolios and CPD.

Writing for Publication

This workshop is structured to lead you through academic writing and publication step-by-step, providing tips and resources to make the writing process as straightforward as possible. It will unravel the peer-review process and assist you in refining the clarity of academic writing.