Module Identifier ILM6910  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Christine J Urquhart  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Christine J Urquhart, Mr Hugh J Preston  
Course delivery Lecture   9 Hours  
  Seminars / Tutorials   6 Hours Seminar.  
  Practical   3 Hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Essay: Submission Date - Essay topic 1 or essay topiic 2 - 15.00 Friday 24th March 2000 3,000 Words Topics Write an essay on one of the following topics (3,000 words maximun) 1. Assuming that demand for health care exceeds a governments abillity or willingness to pay:- a) discuss need versus demand in health care provision b) discuss the issues of principle which arise, and indicate the strategies which could be adopted to secure what may deem to be the right expenditure on health care; c) what information provision implications are there? Your essay will be assessed against the following criteria: a. Definition of key concepts: 10% b. Coverage of principles and strategies: 40% c. Coverage of information implications: 40% d. Presentation and citation: 10% 2. Briefly distinguish between socialised medicine and private medicine as healthcare delivery systrems. What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesess of these two approaches to health care? What are the implcations for information provision? Your essay will be assessed against the following criteria: a. Definition of key concepts: 10% b. Coverage of principles and strategies: 40% c. Coverage of information implications: 40% d. Presentation and citation: 10% Submission Dates : Essay Topic 1 or Eassay Topic 2 - 15.00 Friday 24th March 2000100%

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module you should be able to :

.   describe the social, political and economic contexts which effect the provision and use of health information;
.   indicate the information needs of health professsionals and the consumers of health services;
.   specify the kinds of sources and services which health information units and libraries should provide.


The module explains those approaches and techniques needed so that the right information is made available to the right people at the right time. An information professional working in the health sector must first understand how health care provision works, because this will shape the inforamtion needs of those needing information. The information needs of doctors, nurses, health managers, patients and others must be understood so that appropraite databases and other services can be provided through a range of information and library services.

To accomplish these aims the syllabus covers:
The contexts of health information
political, economic and social issues ; structure of health care systems; the UK National Health Service

Inforamtion Needs
the needs of medical, nursing and health management groups; members of the public who seek consumer health inforamtion

Major inforamtion sources and services
   databases of numeric and text information for management and clinical pruposes; medical records; issues related to the provision of information services in health organisations.


Health care is controversial because of a collision of medical and social factors: more people are living longer as medical knowledge is refined, the cost of medical technology rises faster than inflation, but there are fewer people in full time work whose taxes can pay the bills. The consequences is action by governments to control expenditure on health, principally by setting priorities to determine who most needs health care.

None of these attempts to spend available resources wisely can work without information. Health professionals need information to decide what the population's health needs are, which care procedures will have the best outcomes and at what cost. Patients and healthy members of the community need information to understand their own state of health, to sustain healthy lifestyles and to make informed choices about treatment options offered to them.   It is the task of information professionals to create and operate information serives which support these information needs.

Reading Lists

Sheaff, Rod and Peel, Victor Managing health service information systems: an introduction. 1995
Spurgeon, Peter The new face of the NHS 1998 2nd.
Timmins, Nicholas The five gianrs: a biography of the welfare state. 1995
Urquhart, Christine and Hepworth, John The value to clinical decision making of information supplied by NHS library and information services. BLR&DD Report n. 6205. 1995
Urquhart, Christine and Hepworth, John The value of information services to clinicians: a toolkit for measurement. 1995
Davies, R Urquhart, CJ, Smith J, Massiter C and Hepworth JB Establishing the value of information to nursing continuing education: report of the EVINCE project. BL RIC report 44. Wetherby: BLDSC, 1997
Clarke, Jean M and Going, Mona E eds Hospital libraries and community care 1990 4th.
Department of Health The new NHS; modern,dependable Available : http:/www.official
Peter Dale Guide to libraries and information sources in medicine and health care 1995
Merry, Peter Effective use of health care information: a review of recent research 1997
NHS Executive Information for health: an information strategy for the modern NHS, 1998- 2005. 1998
Keen Justin Information management in health services. 1994
Klein, Rudolf The new politics of the NHS 1995 3rd.
Klein Rudolf, Day Patricia and Redmayne, Sharon Managing scarcity: priority setting and rationing in the National Health Service. 1996
Levitt, Ruth and others The reorganised National Health Services 1999 6th.
Libraries and information services in the health sciences. Special issue of Library Trends, Summer 1993, v42(1)
Lyon, elizabeth Online medical databases 1991 5th.
MacDougall, Jennifer and Brittain, J Michael Use of information in the NHS. 1992
Marlow, C and Preston H Information contracting tools in a cancer scpecialist unit: the role of Healthcare Resource Groups (HRGs) Information Research, 4/2 October 1998
Benson, Tim and Neame, Roderick Healthcare computing: a guide to health inforamtion management and systems 1994
Carmel, Michael Health care librarianship and inforamtion work 1995 2nd.
Childs S M and Milner Susan J Health information in the High Street: a DIY mkanual for setting up and running a health information center. 1990
Ranade, Wendy A future for the NHS? : health care for the millennium 1997 2nd.
Rivett, Geoffrey From cradle to grave: fifty years of the NHS 1998
Entwistle, Vikki A, Watt, Ian S and Herrings, James E Information about health care effectiveness: an introduction for consumer health inforamtion providers. 1996


This module is at CQFW Level 7