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 Hosptials, and our staff is 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).

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

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.

At the moment our Staffed hours vary slightly due to COVID-19 restrictions but all sites provide you with 24-hour library access. EPUT and PF staff please check for access as we are currently arranging this at Broomfield for you.

So, how can you join the library?

  • In person – Come to the library which is most convenient for you and fill out a paper membership form. 
  • On the paper forms, there is the option to join up to KnowledgeShare . This service provides customised email bulletins, delivering high quality information on your chosen topics, straight to your inbox. KnowledgeShare is optional.

When you join you will be given a leaflet more detail what you need to know. 


A QR code that can be scanned by a phone to open the membership form. You can become a member by completing this online form, or by scanning the QR code to the right.

Membership is free and open to all Mid and South Essex Trust staff and students on placement - complete the form below to join. It's also open to all Provide CIC staff, EPUT staff (not Bank staff) and specific PF 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.

We will need to see your staff ID badge as proof of ID. 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 - please read the  membership conditions and privacy notice Jan 2021[pdf] 444KB.  

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 of our libraries 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 are available. Printing costs 5p per A4 sheet. Colour printing is not available.

Between us, we hold about 18,000 books - you can request any books that are not currently held by us through the Library catalogue, ELMS.

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


Call 01268 524900 using extension 3594 or email mse.library@nhs.net

Broomfield Healthcare Library 

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

Follow on twitter: @broomfield_lib

Read about our recent renovation here.


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

Follow on twitter: @SMC_Library

Books and the Library Catalogue (ELMS)

The Library Catalogue can be found here.

You can search for items by words in the title, keywords or by subject, and collections of every NHS library in the East of England region and reserve books you would like sent to the library for collection.  When you have found the book you want, you can reserve it and choose at which library in the region you would like to collect it from. Most books may be borrowed for four weeks, and can be renewed, provided that they have not been requested by anyone else. 

Books will automatically renew 3 times before they will have to be returned.

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 or Journal Articles

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

Book Requests

To request a book, please first check the Library catalogue: ELMS

Log in to the ELMS catalogue with your user ID and PIN - please request this from the Library if you do not have one.

View the item details of the book you wish to reserve and click 'reserve' (located beneath book details). You will be notified by email when it is available to collect. 

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

Book and journal article requests

If a journal article you need is not available online you can request a copy via the catalogue ELMS.  You can also request books which you can’t find anywhere.

Log in with your ELMS user ID and PIN - please contact the Library if you do not have one. 
Select "Your inter-library loans" and then click “Create Request” "Accept the Copyright Declaration form.

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

Complete the form with as many details as you can and click “Create”

Articles normally arrive within two days and will be sent to you as a PDF. 

You will be notified by email when a book is ready to collect, where possible your article will be sent via email.

Please complete a separate form for each request.

Most journal article requests are free, but in some cases, there will be a charge - you will be notified if this applies.

Special Collection: 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. 

Special Collection: Mood-Boosting

To complement the Health and wellbeing collection, we also have collections of mood-boosting fiction and poetry. 

Special Collection: Equality & Diversity

We have a collection of books related to all areas of equality and diversity.


Each site has a small fiction collection and welcome donations

NHS Athens and Electronic Resources

To access any of our electronic resources you will need an NHS Athens user name and password.

Change Athens Organisation: https://openathens.nice.org.uk/Auth/Login?ReturnUrl=/Hub

Step 1

  • Complete the online registration form to register for an OpenAthens account.
  • Tick the eligibility tick box, enter your work email address and select Continue. 
  • Registering with an NHS email will speed up the registration process. 
  • For organisation, select the organisation you are EMPLOYED by. 
  • Submit the form.

Step 2

  • You will receive an email from Eduserv Athens.
  • Click on the link within the email within 24hr to activate the account.
  • 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 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 new Knowledge and Library 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 libraryTraining sessions will be available soon.

Healthcare Databases

The NHS interface for Healthcare Databases Advanced Search (HDAS) has been decommissioned. You can get access to the same databases provided by using the KLS HUB, above or directly through the database provider. You can also find the direct links below.

  • When you get to the homepage look for where it says Athens or institutional login and click
  • You may be asked to find your institution. Start typing your organisation (IE, Mid and South Essex, Provide) then click on it.
  • You will then be asked to log in with your NHS Open Athens account.

These interfaces may look different but the way of searching remains the same. If you need help, please ask your library staff.


Ovid will take you to MEDLINE, the major medical database.

To get to AMED – Allied and Complementary Medicine/EMCARE - nursing, EMBASE - medicine and pharmaceuticals/HMIC- Healthcare Management Consortium (Includes Kings Fund) and Social Policy and Practice. Please see the below screenshot that explains where you need to click on the “Change” option to view.

A screenshot that explains where you need to click on the “Change” option to view


This directs you to PsycInfo. This database is published by the American Psychological Associations and provides comprehensive indexing and abstracts of the international psychological literature from the 1800s to the present. Documents indexed include journals, articles, books, dissertations and more. 90% of the 3,000+ titles indexed in APA PsycINFO® are peer-reviewed.


This directs you to CINAHL, the main database for nursing and allied health professionals. 

When logged in choose EBSCO research databases. Please note MEDLINE COMPLETE available here is not as extensive as MEDLINE available via OVID.

We will soon offer links to training materials

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 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. 

Find out here what cases you want to publish and how to prepare your submission. You can obtain your fellowship code from the Library.

"Instructions for Authors"-  this includes a user guide and help on how to submit cases - https://casereports.bmj.com/pages/authors/

Clinical Key (for MSE staff)

A dynamic and fully searchable healthcare resource designed to provide clinicians with fast, clinically-relevant answers from Elsevier’s enormous library of medical and surgical content including 600+ ejournals and 1000+ ebooks. 

A large collection of ejournals are available to you on Clinical Key. Visit www.btuheks.nhs.uk/publications/ck_ejournals_spreadsheet2017.xlsx to access the list and click on URL next to the journal you are interested in to access the content.

Clinical Skills (for MSE staff)

Nursing Procedure Guidelines available to all staff helping them to put best evidence into practice. login in here with your valid NHS OpenAthens password to access the 350+ procedures. 

HSJ (for MSE staff)

All MSE staff have access to HSJ - please request access from the library. HSJ is unique in covering all aspects of English healthcare. 

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. 

Be sure to download the HSJ App

KnowledgeShare (for all organisations)

KnowledgeShare is our targeted current awareness service. The alerts include resources like 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 OpenAthens ID.

Oxford Handbook Ebooks (for all organisations)

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

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

CPDOnline (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 to request access to CPD online if you are employed as a Doctor. You need to provide your OpenAthens username.

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. 

UpToDate (for MSE staff)

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 from the intranet while at work 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. Please find instructions here

You can still access this resource from outside the Trust from a PC with an Internet connection as long as you have a valid OpenAthens login. To access the full text, you will need to select Subscribers Log in here and then select Log in using OpenAthens. Enter your valid NHS Athens password. 

The videos below are only viewable using Chrome:

TRIP (for all organisations)

TRIP A search engine aimed at health professionals looking for clinical research literature to support patient care is available to all of the NHS in England. You can now use your NHS Athens account to log into TRIP.

The 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 new 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.

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Evidence Searches and Information Skills Training

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 as abstracts and/or website links. 

Please email your home library site to request a search.

Please give 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 – e.g. adults, children, outpatients, critical care etc. 
  • The reason for the search e.g. 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 7 working days to complete a literature 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 undergraduate students, but we are happy to support you in undertaking your own search.

If you would like training on how to search healthcare databases (HDAS) yourself then please contact us .

Information Skills Training

We offer free training to help you access high quality information on the Internet, access full text electronic books and journals, search healthcare databases for journal articles and evidence based reviews, and critically appraise the research you find.

You can book on a course held in the Library or arrange your own 1 to 1 information consultation with a trained information professional to look at your specific search or information needs.

Any of the following courses can also be run for individuals or teams / departments.

Searching for Healthcare Information

You will learn how to plan an effective search and then find journal articles using the knowledge and Library HUB and following this up by looking at databases such as Medline, Cinahl, and PsycInfo.

How to search using keywords and thesaurus subjects, access full text articles, and limit search results.

You will need basic computer skills and a current NHS Athens password to attend - please contact your home library to arrange this course.

Introduction to Critical Appraisal

Is the research you are reading valid and trustworthy? What do the statistics really mean? Learn how to critically appraise a Randomised Control Trial in this practical workshop. Contact the library for more information. 

Reflective Writing for Healthcare Professionals  

This workshop will help you get started, and introduce you to useful models, writing tips and templates. Contact the library for more information. Contact your site library for dates and times of workshops.



All journals available to you can be found on NICE Journals page on the NICE website. To access the ejournals, you will need a valid NHS OpenAthens password 

When you select a journal, always look for OpenAthens login even though you may already be logged onto Athens, you still need to select Athens login in order to access full-text.

Not every journal is available as full text. If there's an article you wish to read which is not available in full text, you will need to log onto ELMS and request material online. Please contact the library if you don't already have a PIN.

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The Library Training Room at Broomfield

To view availability and make a booking visit http://mehtroombooking/BookWiseEducationWeb

Booking Information:

The Training Room is part of the library and is mainly available for staff and students to study. We are making it our policy that it is only available for Training events.

The room is not suitable for confidential meetings as speech may be overhead by those using the other end of the suite. 

The room is not appropriate for interviews or exams and bookings for these purposes will be rejected.

The room is also not suitable as temporary office space and bookings for these purposes will be rejected.

Please familiarise yourself with the Library Training Room booking rules [docx] 150KB before making a booking.

All bookings are subject to the agreement of the library manager.