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Access the NHS knowledge and library hub

If, as part of your course, you have a placement in the NHS you will have access to the NHS core library collection as well as University resources.  This access is provided via an University issued NHS OpenAthens account.  These are the resources that you will have access to in your professional career so it is a good idea to get familiar with them now.


The NHS uses OpenAthens to provide access to its electronic resources.  This is different to the University which uses something called Shibboleth or Institutional access.  If you are on a health course with a placement in the NHS you will receive an OpenAthens account activation email from the University.  You will need to activate your account within 14 days.  This is known as an HEI OpenAthens account and gives you access to core content.  For queries regarding your HEI OpenAthens password contact

Remember that they are two different sets of e-resources and login methods

  • OpenAthens for NHS resources
  • University login (Shibboleth) for University resources.

When using NHS Resources you are strongly advised to open a private or incognito browser session or use a different browser altogether, that is, not the browser you use to access University systems.

NHS Knowledge and Library Hub

To access the core NHS resources go to the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub

Similar to OneSearch this hub searches the NHS core collection of library resources and also gives quick access to NICE guidelines and BMJ best practice. It provides access to some collections that the University does not subscribe to, such as the British Nursing Index and Embase, as well as some we do, such as CINAHL.
Anyone can search the hub but you will need an OpenAthens account to view the full-text, search individual collections or access BMJ Best Practice. View the guide to using the Library hub.

Some of the key additional resources are:

BMJ Best practice is a clinical decision support tool, providing the evidence for every step of diagnosis and treatment.

British Nursing Index - provides the references to articles in the most relevant UK nursing and midwifery journals. The full-text may be available in other collections.

Embase is a comprehensive biomedical research database.

The Hub also gives you quick access to NICE resources: BNF, BNFc, NICE guidlines and Clinical knowledge Summaries.

There are additional resources only available to NHS employees, these include: Trip Pro, ebooks, Maudsley prescibing guidelines and the Royal Marsden Clinical nursing procedures, althought the latter is also available via the University.  To access these you will need an NHS OpenAthens account (which is different from an HEI OpenAthens account).  You can apply for one of these if you are bank staff, check with the hospital library.  See the full list of resources and who can access them

eLearning for Healthcare.

A suite of online tutorials provided by Health Education England, supporting every aspect of healthcare. You can access most modules with a free registration but if you log in with OpenAthens you can save them to count towards your CPD.
See the guide on how to set up a free account e-LfH account creation.


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