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Nursing Professionals NHS Library Guide

This guide gives an overview of library resources and services for NHS nursing, nursing associate and healthcare assistance staff.

evidence based practice


If you are looking for databases which can search a broad range of evidence sources such as primary research, secondary evidence, guidance and policy documents then the following ones will be most useful.

The following resources feature local (UK) and global guidance information

NICE are an independent public body that provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care in England. NICE produce evidence-based recommendations on a broad range of topics and will set out the care and services suitable for most people with a specific condition or need. Guidelines recommendations are in the main for individual health and social care practitioners, although some are for local authorities, commissioners and managers, and cover planning, commissioning and improving services. While others are for providers (organisations providing services), schools, and local and national organisations and partnerships in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Best For: Practice guidelines, Practice pathways, Patient Information

Operating since 1993 the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) is a collaborative initiative developing and disseminating national clinical guidelines containing recommendations based on the latest evidence to promote good clinical practice and to improve the quality of health care for patients in Scotland by reducing variation in practice and outcome.

Best For: Practice guidelines, Decision making, Patient Information

Guidelines International network, G-I-N, is a global network founded in 2002 it seeks to support evidence based healthcare and improved health outcomes by reducing inappropriate variation throughout the world, and by promoting systematic development clinical practice guidelines and their application into practice. G-I-N collects member network guidance within the International Guideline Library.

Best for: International practice guidelines, networks and collaboration

Freely available database of systematic reviews and clinical trials

Best For:

Provides rigorous and independent evaluations of, and practical advice on the treatment and management of disease for healthcare professionals.

Best For:

Turning Research into Practice (TRIP) describes itself as "a clinical search engine designed to allow users to quickly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence". Users can search across systematic reviews, clinical trials, guidelines, evidence synopses and primary research. It pulls in content from a number of sources including Cochrane, NICE, PubMed, BMJ, The Lancet and many more.

Best For: Complex searches, easy to use.

Largest international, peer-reviewed collection of cases in all disciplines so that healthcare professionals can easily find clinical information on common and rare conditions.

The following resources can be used to source images and multimedia. When using images please be mindful of copyright restriction that may apply, for more guidance see our guide: Copyright: What NHS staff need to know.

An accessible source of anatomical knowledge with simple language and realistic, 3D visuals. Requires an NHS OpenAthens account. Select OpenAthens for Federation and St George's Hospital NHS Trust as the institution.

A portal with links to websites for good quality images with CC license for unrestricted use. NB You should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license by following the link.


You can search for medical images using Trip Pro. To find images: run a search, then select Images. A useful filter is the "Only show images that are free to share, modify or use" tickbox.

Find thousands of Creative Commons licensed images from historical library materials and museum objects to contemporary digital photographs.

Department of Health
National archive National Archives
health and Social care information Centre
Office of Health Economics

Office of National Statistics (ONS)

Nuffield Trust

British Heart Foundation
Cancer Research UK
NHS Digital
NHS England

Public Health England
International & Global  
Global Health Facts

United Nations