East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust (ELHT) held their annual Health & Wellbeing event at Royal Blackburn Hospital on Wednesday 22nd May 2019. It’s an all-day event with lots of information stands and activities promoting services including Quit Squad -smoking cessation, electric bikes, Unison, and walking activities to name but a few. The Trust library service has always gone to these events to promote our wellbeing resources and support staff; however, this year we did things slightly differently.

Our new Head of Library and Knowledge Services Abbas Bismillah recently met Adele Karwat, Service Manager: Libraries and Archives (Public Health and Wellbeing at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council) and together discussed how our staff, patients and members of the public could be helped to get health and wellbeing information. The H&W event seemed the ideal opportunity for BwD libraries to join us and showcase what both our services could offer.

Another big difference was the location of the event. In the past this has been a staff-only event and was held in a restricted area but this year it was held in the main corridor of the hospital so it was also open to patients and visitors. The ELHT team (Clare, Lauren, Charlotte & Judith) took it in turns to man the stand and Isabel and Emma hosted the BwD library stand. We got a prime spot, just next to the shop which was brilliant for us!

ELHT libraries showcased our Wellbeing Collection – including over 100 Books on Prescription titles and also our Fiction collection with over 450 books
BwD Public Libraries publicised the following services:

• Over 20,000 e-books available using the BorrowBox app
• Free unlimited access to over 100 digital editions of popular magazines – Rbdigital app
• Home library service

There was an excellent turn out and it was a great chance for us to meet both staff and patients and talk about how both our library services can support wellbeing at home or at work. Over 20 people signed up to BwD libraries on the day!

It was also a really good chance for the Trust library staff to network with Public library staff and share awareness of our services and resources. We will be continuing to look at ways of working together and signposting users to services.

Library and Knowledge Services @ East Lancs Hospitals NHS Trust