CNWL Library and Knowledge Services support high-quality patient care and professional development.  We do this by providing and enabling access to the latest healthcare and service development evidence. Our Outreach Team can visit you at your place of work to outline what we offer and how we can tailor this to meet your needs.

The Library team offers a flexible approach to meet the learning needs of you and your unit. Small group or one-to-one training sessions are provided on request, either at library sites or where you work. Information professionals are also available to talk you through a literature search on the telephone or remotely via Lync/Skype. Information retrieval and assessment skills tutorials can be tailored to your needs: please contact library staff directly or email for more details. Free library-facilitated sessions can also be booked by CNWL staff for NOCLOR.

Types of training:

1. NICE Evidence portal
By the end of the session participants will be able to:

  • Know when to use NICE Evidence
  • Search Clinical Knowledge Summaries, QIPP and other available databases
  • Search for topics of interest
  • Add filters to a search
  • Use NICE pathways

2. Finding the evidence: searching NHS Evidence healthcare databases
By the end of training participants will be able to:

  • Plan their search strategy
  • Understand how to carry out a subject search
  • Combine search terms
  • Apply limits to their search
  • View, save and print their results
  • Access any available full text

3. Critical appraisal skills workshops

  • Learn to appraise published outputs of quantitative and qualitative research
  • Essential statistical knowledge
  • Group review of a journal article

4. Publishing workshop

  • Learn to write for professional journals
  • Understand the publishing process

As well as training in person (either in the library or at staff workplaces), the library also has a range of information guides and leaflets that provide help with literature searching.

CNWL Library and Knowledge Services can regularly send you custom-made alerts to keep you up-to-date on any healthcare-related topic of choice: news, events, research and best practice in your subject through journal contents pages, blogs and RSS feeds. Contact library staff for more information.

CNWL staff and placement students have access to a wide range of print and electronic resources.


You can browse all our electronic and paper titles using the NHS Evidence A_Z Journals  An Athens account is required to access the full list (and link through to full text).

BMJ Best Practice

BMJ Best Practice takes you quickly and accurately to the latest evidence-based information, whenever and wherever you need it. To access it through Open Athens, follow these instructions:

  • Visit the BMJ Best Practice website and click 'log in'
  • Click 'access through your institution'
  • You will be asked to search for your institution. Please type in 'NHS in England' and log in using your open Athens user name and password
  • Click 'continue' to link your open Athens account with your BMJ Best Practice personal account. You can use these personal account details to log in and access BMJ Best Practice anywhere.


You will need an NHS Athens account to access the resources on this page. If you do not have an Athens account or have lost your password, you'll need to self-register for an NHS Athens account. All listed databases are available via two different interfaces, NHS Evidence Healthcare Databases Advanced Search (HDAS) and OVID online. Links to both providers are given below (E for NHS Evidence; O for OVID), thus allowing you to opt for the search engine you are more familiar with. Please see below the list of databases:


E-learning for healthcare (e-LfH)

e-LfH​ is an e-learning programme providing national, quality assured online training content for the healthcare profession enhance traditional learning, support existing teaching methods and provide a valuable reference point which can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

Referencing and plagiarism

​Students should follow their universities’ specific advice on referencing, whilst authors should comply with publishers’ guidance. Imperial College London has comprehensive guides to referencing using different styles such as Harvard and Vancover.  Also a plagiarsim awareness for students, academic staff, researchers and administrative staff.

  • Mendeley: a free reference manager & academic Social Network
  • Zotero: a free , open-source research tool
  • EndNote web: a free online citation management tool.​
  • NHS Acronym Buster: Definitions of more than 700 commonly used acronyms and abbreviations in the NHS
  • Rayan: A free online too to support systematic review authors manage their results, collaborate and analyse results and suggestions for article inclusion.

Study skills

More information is available by logging into CNWL LDZ.

Valuable study skills guidance from the Open University:

  • Deal with assignments
  • Get ready for exams
  • Improve your English
  • Build up effective study strategies
  • Absorb: think, read and take notes
  • Learn in groups

Find out more about Open University study skills

Also from the Open University, postgraduate level study skills:

  • Advanced reading skills
  • Harvesting and processing evidence
  • Presenting your findings

Find out more about Open University postgraduate study skills

Our experienced library professionals offer expert literature search services.

These are provided free of charge to support clinical practice, service management, policy development, research and personal studies as quickly and cost-effectively as possible for all NHS and social care staff in CNWL's catchment area.  Please fill in and email us our literature search request form or contact

CNWL provides access to library and study spaces at the following locations including two CNWL Knowledge Hubs (Gordon, St Charles Hub and Kingswood) and linked Imperial and NHS Library sites:

Gordon Hospital Library
6th Floor, Gordon Hospital
Bloomburg Street

Telephone: 020 8237 2281


St Charles Library and Knowledge Hub
2nd Floor, Chamberlain House
St Charles Hospital
Exmoor Street
W10 6DZ

Telephone: 0208 206 7362

Staffed: Monday - Friday 9.30am to 5pm


All Imperial College Campus Libraries listed below are open to CNWL staff. Please check the Imperial library website for further details such as opening hours, local arrangements, available print and electronic.

  • Charing Cross Campus Library
  • Chelsea and Westminster Campus Library
  • Hammersmith Campus, Wellcome Library​
  • Royal Brompton Campus Library
  • St. Mary's Campus Library
  • Central Library, South Kensington Campus


NHS libraries

CNWL staff and students on placement also benefit from full membership rights at the following NHS-managed library services within the Trust’s catchment’s area (check library websites or phone for full details of resources and services provided):