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Healthcare Library

Our library provides our staff, placement students, carers and other NHS members, with access to a range of printed and electronic materials, including books, articles, journals and research publications.  

We can also help you with evidence searching to support your decision making, and offer training to help you develop your own searching skills.

While our library isn’t open for general public use, we do have a range of self-help books and materials that carers can borrow.

We are able to source books and articles we don’t have in stock so please contact us if you're unable to find a resource you need.

Read our Library and Knowledge Service Annual Report 2022-23 (pdf)

Read our Library and Knowledge Service Strategy 2023-2026 (pdf)

Berkshire Healthcare staff 

Our library is free to use for all our staff and any students who are on placement with us, plus any other organisations that have agreed access arrangements, such as public health staff in Berkshire West.   

Staff from other NHS South Trusts

If you’re working for another NHS South Trust or GP Practice, you can visit our library or contact us to loan books and access references.

If you work for another NHS organisation, you may be able to use our services for a fee.

Contact us to find out more.

Email library.healthcare@berkshire.nhs.uk 

If you’re a member of staff or a visitor, you can join our library by completing our online membership form.

Complete our online membership form (opens new browser tab)

General public

Unfortunately, our library isn’t open for general public use. There are a range of libraries across Berkshire open to everyone, such as:

We have many resources available to all Trust staff and students. Some resources can also be accessed by other NHS staff and visitors. If you need help finding books or resources, contact us and we’ll see how we can help.

An NHS OpenAthens account gives access to our library resources and clinical tools listed here.

Watch the Why reigster for NHS OpenAtherns video on YouTube

All of the web links below will open in a new tab in your browser.

Register or log in to OpenAthens (opens in a new browser tab)

Clinical Tools

eBooks and eResources

Read our PDF guide on how to use the Knowledge and Library hub (pdf) 

NHS Knowledge and Library hub

Search high quality NHS knowledge and evidence resources 

Visit the NHS Knowledge and Library hub website (opens new browser tab)

Read our PDF guide on how to use the Knowledge and Library hub (pdf) 

Watch the Navigating the NHS Knowledge and Library Services hub video on YouTube

Resources for Public Health Staff

Public Health staff in the local authorities of Reading, West Berkshire and Wokingham are able to use our services. These include book loans, article supply, training and evidence searching.

Complete our online membership form (opens new browser tab)

Public Health staff in Slough, Bracknell and Windsor and Maidenhead should contact Wexham Park Library at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Visit the Public Health Portal on the Frimley Health website (opens new browser tab)

You can also contact the UK Health Security Agency library team

Visit the UKHSA Library webpage (opens new browser tab)

OpenAthens accounts

Local authority public health staff are eligible for an OpenAthens account. You will need to choose Public health staff in England’ as your Organisation when registering. Contact them for any queries around your OpenAthens account.

Email libraries@phe.gov.uk 

Register or log in to OpenAthens (opens new browser tab)


Local authority public health staff have access to a range of resources provided by United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and Health Education England. These include over 5000 journal titles.

Search across a range of content from multiple information sources on the Ebsco Discovery Service website.

Visit the Ebsco Discovery Service website (opens new browser tab)

More information about resources and support from the UKSHA library for local authority public health teams can be found on the UKSHA website.

Visit the UKSHA library website (opens new browser tab)

The library provides a number of resources to support international nurses recruited by Berkshire Healthcare to adapt to NHS practice and prepare for their Nursing and Midwifery Council OSCE

An OpenAthens account may be needed to use some of these resources.

Visit NEXUS to read more about OpenAthens (must be connected to our trust network)

Journals and eBooks

Clinical skills and procedures

Point of care tools

  • BMJ Best Practice (visit the website - opens new browser tab). A clinical decision support tool that brings together regularly updated research evidence with the knowledge of international experts. It offers a step by step approach to help manage patient diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prevention
  • British National Formulary (BNF) and British National Formulary for Children (BNFC) (visit the website - opens new browser tab). The BNF and BNFC provide UK health professionals with authoritative and practical information on the selection and use of medicines 
  • CKS (visit the website - opens new browser tab). Clinical Knowledge Summaries are short summaries of current evidence for primary care professionals. There are over 370 topics to choose from
  • NICE Guidelines (visit the website - opens new browser tab). UK guidance which recommends the care and services suitable for most people with a specific condition or need, and people in particular circumstances or settings
  • UpToDate  (visit the website - opens new browser tab). A clinical support tool that includes a collection of medical and patient information and a number of medical calculators

Health literacy is about people having enough knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence to use health information to make decisions about their health.

Improving and supporting health literacy can result in:

  • Improved health and health outcomes for patients 
  • Better patient and professional relationships
  • Improved understanding of medication information, instructions and adherence
  • Reduced risk of serious health problems resulting from misunderstanding and communication
  • Reduced re-admissions and repeat appointments
  • Reduced health inequalities

Read our health literacy and information techniques guide (pdf)

Training and eLearning

Want to learn more about health literacy, how it affects patients and what you can do to support them? We provide a 90 minute health literacy course.

Visit our blog to see more information and dates (opens new browser tab)

Health Education England (HEE) have provided a free health literacy eLearning programme

Visit the HEE website to read more and register for access (opens new browser tab)

If you're a member of staff at Berkshire Healthcare, you can register for the eLearning programme through Nexus. 

Visit Nexus to register for the eLearning programme (opens new browser tab)


Read the Health literacy ‘how to’ guide (PDF on the NHS Library website)

Visit the Health Literacy Place on the NHS Education for Scotland website (opens new browser tab)

Visit the Health literacy levels local authority data website (opens new browser tab)

Research Support

If you need help researching evidence you can submit a request to our team.

Submit an evidence search request form (opens in a new browser tab)

We also regularly run Finding the Evidence Workshops. Contact us to learn more and book your place.

Sign up for our KnowledgeShare service and we’ll contact you whenever we find highly relevant evidence documents related to your field.

Submit a KnowledgeShare membership form (opens in a new tab)


We can provide training and support via Microsoft Teams – on how to search for evidence, accessing journals, health literacy, critical appraisal, referencing and making the most of your NHS OpenAthens account.  

Register or log in to OpenAthens (opens new browser tab)

Visit our blog to see our training dates (opens new browser tab)

Contact us to find out more and to book your place.

Revised opening hours from 4 March 2024

The Library space at Prospect Park Hospital will be unstaffed on Wednesday and Friday afternoons for the next few months. On these afternoons the library team will provide an online service via email and online resources to assist you with enquiries.

Email library.healthcare@berkshire.nhs.uk

Staffing hours will be:

Monday Tuesday and Thursday, from 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Wednesday and Friday, from 8.30am to 1pm.

Berkshire Healthcare staff can still access the library space outside of these times. If you are based at Prospect Park Hospital, you can use your ID card. If you're based elsewhere, please contact Reception.

We also offer a virtual service via email. Contact us to find out more.  

Day of the week Opening times
Monday 8.30am to 4.30pm
Tuesday 8.30am to 4.30pm
Wednesday 8.30am to 1.00pm, online service in the afternoon
Thursday 8.30am to 4.30pm

8.30am to 1.00pm, online service in the afternoon

Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Call 0118 960 5012

Email library.healthcare@berkshire.nhs.uk

Follow us on Twitter (opens new browser tab)

Visit our blog (opens new browser tab)


We have guides and links to partner websites if you need help with Accessibility  and tips for developing your writing and online search skills.

We would like everyone to be able to access the Library and Knowledge Service easily, and we welcome your feedback and suggestions of how we can improve.

Visit our Accessibility resources page

Call 0118 960 5012

Email library.healthcare@berkshire.nhs.uk

Our user guides cover tips and tricks to help you access our online resources and develop your skills.

Visit our User Guides subpage

Contact us if you need further assistance, or to book training sessions with us on these topics.

Call 0118 960 5012

Email library.healthcare@berkshire.nhs.uk