This short piece is about our service and work we have done together since the last update in September 2020. We welcomed back Laura Jeffreys, Knowledge Specialist: Quality, returning from maternity leave part-time in August which has given us all a lift and increased our capacity as a team.  The Transformation process at PCFT, and the ongoing effects of COVID-19 continue to affect our ability to build stable relationships and implement systems. We are still all working predominantly from home, with some limited attendance in the office to maintain systems & for health and wellbeing. Some face to face inductions and training are cautiously restarting, which is both exciting and challenging. A 5 year plan has now been accepted by the Board, and we welcome Simon Sandhu to the post of Deputy Medical Director.

Highlights, what has gone well and looking forward

Supporting research and using COVIDENCE systematic review software: The systematic review of tele-psychiatry Knowledge Service staff did the searches for has now been completed and is being submitted for publication. Another systematic review we are supporting has been accepted on PROSPERO and is using COVIDENCE software. COVIDENCE has very kindly extended our access to trial this package.  Knowledge Service staff are supporting research by providing searching expertise for staff completing PhD training & bids for external funding.  Knowledge Specialists have provided advice and peer-review of search strategies to some of our incredible medical trainees.

Training and induction: Knowledge Specialists have begun to attend in person training and induction again. Stephen Edwards, Outreach Knowledge Specialist, has attended a new format for induction being piloted by our innovative Medical Education department which involved a quick fire question and answers.


1 to 1 face to face training has recommenced now staff are vaccinated. For example, a visit to a staff member at the Psychological Therapy Service at Birch Hill Hospital.


We are part way through our 2021/22 virtual workshop programme with Research & Innovation, having piloted this in November 2020. Retaining the best of what we have learned from the last 12 months, two, two hour workshops using the funded version of Zoom have been delivered. Our colleagues in Organisational Development have provided us with training and access to the more advanced functionality of this package.  

On 22nd April, Making the Most of Research and Innovation and the Knowledge Service featured speakers on how to get involved in research, how to make effective use of the Knowledge Service & short talks by PCFT staff actively involved in carrying out research, talking about their research journeys. 8 people attended, and initial polls showed 71% gave the overall assessment as excellent. On 1st July, Top Tips for Publication saw leading researchers from the Trust join with Brenda Pimlott, Senior Research Coordinator & GCP Facilitator, & Knowledge Specialist, Stephen Edwards, to deliver training in an area identified from the previous workshop as an area of need. Unfortunately, only 7 of 21 people booked on attended. We will be following up participants to see if the workshop has had any impact. A further workshop planned for October has been delayed due to low numbers attending as we limit to essential meetings.

Early Adopter Pilot project: We took part in the Pilot Project led by Emily Hurt by transitioning our literature search process to the native interfaces & submitting data on this to the project.  As a result, the Knowledge Specialists who took part have all moved to using the native interfaces for database searching & using Endnote to manage references. We are still undertaking the further Advanced Database searching sessions & will be reflecting the changes in our literature searching procedures and deciding what to do about training sessions as the end of HDAS moves closer.

National Discovery Service: We have been attending training sessions, making sure our data is up to date & logging any changes that will be needed once the system is live, as the implementation date moves closer. 

Social Media Marketing: During the enforced break from face to face meeting we’ve made best use of Social Media to promote the Knowledge Service. Thanks to our Communications Team, we took part in Twitter Take over day of the Trust Social Media account @PenninecareNHSon 29th April, 2021. Using the materials provided by Health Education England & the Project Teams we took part in LKS Awareness week, 14th -18th June & Health Information Awareness Week, 5th -9th July.  2 Knowledge Specialists were involved.  Our number of Tweets, engagement rates and Tweet impressions also moved upward during part of this time.  As we are a virtual service, we held a book draw for staff, linked to registering for an Athens account. The prizes were a copy of one of the #HIW2021 Uplifting Resources collection


Most of our time up to the end of September will be geared towards the Outcomes Framework and engaging with the new Trust Leadership on this, using it to help the Trust make the most of our service.  

Blog collated by Rosalind McNally: Knowledge Specialist, Liaison Lead, September 2021