Resources for Health & Social Care

Internet journals

Biomed Central

An independent publisher providing open access to peer-reviewed medical research.

BMJ Clinical Evidence

Contains information about over 200 medical conditions and 2000 treatments.

Free Medical Journals

Provides a list of online medical publications organised into the following categories: free full text, free one to six months after publication, free one year after publication, free two years after publication, new, and cancelled. There are over 800 titles sorted alphabetically or by specialty. There are also Spanish and Portuguese listings. Users can sign up for the journal alert feature and can also submit information on new free medical journals.

Highwire Press Free Journals

The journals that HighWire supports focus on science, technology, and medicine (STM). Much content is available without subscription, although as a general rule current content is not available. Free Website.

PubMed central: an archive of life science journals

An archive of freely (sometimes current content is excluded) available life sciences journals. Coverage dates back to the 1950's. Free Website.

Internet books

British National Formulary

"The BNF provides UK health professionals with authoritative and practical information on the selection and clinical use of medicines in a clear concise and accessible manner"


Mill Hill Essays from the National Institute for Medical Research

This site provides access to the full-text of the Mill Hill Essays, which have been published annually from 1995 to date, with the exception of 2006 and 2007, by the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) to promote the public understanding of science. They were inspired by a series of BBC Radio lectures given by eminent scientists in the 1950's, and subsequently published as a book. They are written by members of staff of the National Institute for Medical Research and guest authors, and are designed to be accessible to anyone with an interest in science and the natural world. A subject index is provided.

Subject gateways

The Health Well

The Health Well is an all-island (Ireland and Northern Ireland) health information website that promotes health and wellbeing by supporting evidence-informed decision making. It is managed by Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH) with the co-operation of key organisations throughout the island.

Health Well will help you

  • Access the information you need;
  • Work collaboratively across the web (by hosting web-groups and supporting key health networks);
  • Use information more effectively (with online analysis tools and support for knowledge translation)

It also aims to build the health intelligence capacity of public health workers and health related organisations.

In its initial phase, Health Well focusses on chronic conditions, obesity and fuel poverty.

The Health Well covers population health as well as health and social services.

NHS Evidence Health Information Resources

Launched in April 2009, the NHS Evidence portal provides a search function for clinical and non-clinical information. Its principal aim is to provide easy access to a comprehensive evidence base for everyone involved in decisions about treatment or the use of resources in health and social care. It builds upon evidence-based guidance from NICE and has links to resources that were previously part of the National Library for Health. The 'About us' section of the website explains the guidelines for the inclusion and exclusion of information sources, lists areas of interest, content sources (clinical, commissioning, drugs and technologies, education and learning tools, public health, and social care), help with conducting a search, and Frequently Asked Questions. Also available are the NHS Evidence Specialist Collections whose purpose is to filter the huge quantity of published research to ensure that clinicians and managers find only the best available evidence in each specialty. Over 30 collections have been commissioned to cover a wide range of common medical conditions and health populations. There is also the facility to sign up for the NHS Evidence e-newsletter 'Eyes on Evidence'.

Other organizations

NetDoctor is a UK site that is aimed at providing patients with clear and understandable medical information. It is a collaboration between a team of doctors, health care professionals, information specialists and patients - with over 250 health professionals contributing to the content within the site. Included within the site is information on diseases, medical examinations and conditions, medicines, medical services, and special features on particular topics. News, articles, videos, a discussion forum, and an ask the doctor facility are available.

Physiotherapy Pain Association

The Physiotherapy Pain Association (PPA) is a recognised clinical interest group of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and comprises of chartered physiotherapists and other practitioners involved in the treatment of patients with acute or chronic pain. The website provides information on how to join the PPA, committee member contacts, information on further education and short courses in the area of pain, information on the publications 'Topical issues in pain 1: whiplash, science and management, fear avoidance beliefs behaviour', 'Topical issues in pain 2: biopsychosocial assessment and management, relationships and pain', Topical issues in pain 3: sympathetic nervous system and pain, pain management and clinical effectiveness, 'Topical issues in pain 4: placebo and nocebo, pain management and muscles and pain' and 'Topical issues in pain 5: treatment, communication, return to work, cognitive-behavioural, pathophysiology'. A members area is also provided.

Public Library of Science

The 'Public Library of Science (PLoS)' is a non-profit organisation of scientists committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource. The PloS website describes the organisation and its core principles, and its plans for publishing journals (initially in biology and medicine) commencing in late 2003.

Health statistics

Department of Health: publications and statistics

This Department of Health website brings together in one place links to various current and old Department of Health publications, including statistical reports, surveys, press releases, publications library, circulars and legislation. It gives an outline of the format in which it is published, the cost (if any) and the different classes of information published in accordance with the freedom of information Act. Most publications are available in PDF/HTML format

Sources of social statistics: Health services and public health

This useful briefing paper (Standard Note: SN/SG/3842) prepared by Carl Baker of the House of Commons Library gives you all the facts to start finding the latest data on a range of UK social welfare topics. It includes links to the relevant social surveys and their websites

Research centres and projects

Centre for Evidence Based Medicine

The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM), based in Oxford, aims to develop, teach and promote evidence-based health care and resources to doctors and other health care professionals, in order to help maintain the highest standards of medicine. Its work includes research and development, training of students and clinicians, and training of trainers in evidence-based medicine (EBM). The website provides further details of the work of the CEBM, software tools and PowerPoint presentations in EBM, workshop videos, a discussion group, details of courses and workshops, The Oxford International Programme in Evidence-Based Health Care, research, publications, and a link to the EBM journal (for which a subscription is required).

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination

The Centre for Reviews and Dissemination is a department of the University of York and is part of the National Institute for Health Research. CRD undertakes high quality systematic reviews that evaluate the effects of health and social care interventions and the delivery and organisation of health care.

Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre

The Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre), established in 1993, is part of the Social Science Research Unit (SSRU), Institute of Education. The Centre undertakes the systematic review of research-based evidence on social interventions and develops methodologies to facilitate involvement in the review process, particularly for health and education policy-makers and practitioners. Current work, funded by several Government departments and charities, covers three interlinked areas of health promotion evaluation, research evidence as a centralised resource, and system development for lay people in the conduct of health research. The Centre provides aids in the form of topic-based reviews, review guidelines and the searchable databases, BiblioMap (health promotion research), DoPHER (health effectiveness reviews) and Trophi (health interventions).

The King's Fund

The King's Fund is an independent health charity who support the health and health care of the people of London and across the UK. Its activities include grant-giving to London projects, policy research, service development and audit programmes, and information and education services for people working in and with the health service. The site provides details of the Fund and covers current work and services, news and publications.

Government organizations

Department of Health

The United Kingdom Department of Health website contains the latest health news, links to local National Health Service (NHS) information, online advice about health (NHS Direct Online), and links to other websites. There are sections containing publications and statistics, health policy, procurement, and "consultations" - an opportunity for stakeholders and the public to give their views on new policies. Many of the publications are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Library catalogues

NHS Libraries in the East of England - joint catalogue

The King's Fund library catalogue

Royal College of Nursing Library catalogue

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Library Catalogue is the gateway to one of Europe's largest specialist nursing collections. Users are able to search for books, videos, reports, grey literature and theses. There are links to many free full-text reports, and RCN members are able to access a growing collection of ebooks for nurses from NetLibrary. Theses in the 'Steinberg Collection of Nursing Research' form part of a unique collection of PhD's written by nurses in the United Kingdom and includes topics related to nursing.

Professional organizations

British Medical Association (BMA)

The British Medical Association (BMA) is the independent trade union and professional association for doctors and medical students in the UK. The site provides information about the BMA, careers, education, training, employment, contracts, science and research grants, events, conferences, medical ethics, BMA library services, BMJ websites, news items, and press releases. Further information is available on healthcare policy, doctors' health and wellbeing and advice and information for patients and the public. Some sections of the site are only available to BMA members.

British Association and College of Occupational Therapists

This organisation is the professional, educational and trade body for occupational therapy in Britain. The website here provides details of events, careers, publications, and contents of the British Journal of Occupational Therapy. A number of publications can be freely downloaded in PDF format, including strategy documents and a careers handbook, whilst others are available to purchase or to members only. BAOT/COT introduced a research forum in 2007, UKOTRF. Certain other resources are available to members only, including educational resources, such as the Interactive Learning Opportunities Database (ILOD) and the British Journal of Occupational Therapy. Links are provided to related sites.

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)

The home page of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), which was established in 1894 to support and promote their members and the profession of physiotherapy in the UK. The CSP currently represents over 45,000 members. The website provides information about the CSP, information on what physiotherapy is, an A-Z of conditions, careers information and continuing professional development, the CSP library and publications (many of which are available in full-text), news and events, groups and networks including clinical interest, regional and occupational groups, and workplace issues. A section on lifelong learning is provided which covers issues relating to continuing professional development for physiotherapists. The effective practice section provides information on evidence based physiotherapy. The Library and Information Services section provides information on services and access to the allied health and complementary medicine database (AMED) for members. Full text publications are also available as well as media and government information, member groups and workplace issues. PHYSIO2U provides information on the location of practising physiotherapists in the UK, there is an enhanced jobs online feature, and InteractiveCSP (iCSP) is a resource being developed to allow members to share knowledge based on their specific clinical, professional and workplace interests. It provides quick access to resources, including documents, news, events and useful websites.

JRCALC Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee

includes the UK Ambulance Service clinical practice guidelines (2016)

Royal College of Nursing

The Royal College of Nursing's website provides information about the RCN, its aims and its work in influencing policy development, and about other RCN activities such as campaigns and events. The website is organised under two main themes. The 'Support for you' area includes information on aspects of employment, legal help, member support services and information specifically for RCN Activists. The 'Professional development' thread points to a range of resources for learning and professional and practice development. These include e-library and e-learning resources available to RCN members as well as online resources that are publicly available on topics such as clinical guidelines, clinical governance and eHealth.

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT)

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists is responsible for the promotion and maintenance of high standards in the education, clinical practice and ethical conduct of speech and language therapists. The site provides details of accredited courses, postgraduate educational opportunities, publications and press releases. Details of how to find a qualified therapist are also provided. Some resources are available to members only.

Medical Research Council

National Institute of Clinical Excellence

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

National Sports Medicine Institute of the United Kingdom

NHS Health Scotland


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