About this service
Who can ask a question?
Anyone can submit a question to the Information and Knowledge Services team. We can help with any queries relating to health and social care, whether you're a health professional, student or just need an answer to a question.
What subjects do you cover?
We answer questions on health and social care management-related issues, such as health inequalities, managing long-term conditions, NHS management, leadership, commissioning, patient and public involvement, BME health, social care, older people and mental health care, workforce development and NHS reforms.
Can you check references for publications?
If you have a publication title and need further details, or have a citation and need the name of the report/book we can help.
We can also carry out literature searches on your behalf and send up to 40 references from our online library database, just let us know the details of the subject you are interested in or the query you need assistance with.
What do I need to provide for a literature search to be carried out?
We just need the subject of the search (including what the information is going to be used for), when it is required by and the period of time you would like us to search, eg, 2006-2009. It would also be useful to provide keywords you think could be relevant to your search and give details of possible geographical coverage, eg, England and Wales.
I'm a student. Can you help me with my dissertation?
We can help by advising which information sources would be suitable to use and how to search them most effectively. We cannot undertake your assignment or essay on your behalf.
Examples of recent questions
- Information about the Health and Social Care Act 2012
- Details of Health and Wellbeing boards, including locality and numbers
- Information on the impact of volunteering in the NHS
- Information on the make up of boards of leaders in the health service
- Examples of best practice
- Resources on implementing integrated care
- Information on tools or models currently in use within the NHS
- Information on the structure and funding breakdown of the NHS
- A&E statistics
Example questions and answers
Statistical information: How many carers are there aged 18-30 in the UK?
The most up-to-date statistic for this is from the NHS Information Centre, published in December 2010. In their survey on carers in households, they have the figure down as 3,100 for the age group 16-24 and 3,900 for 25-34 – unfortunately this is a little beyond the age range, but it should gives some idea of numbers. Source: Table 2.1 in the Survey of Carers in Households 2009/10
- Further data and related resources relating to this survey can be found on the NHS Information Centre website
- The NHS IC collects a range of data on carers
NHS funding: An overview of how funding works in general in the NHS and how it works in relation to cancer services
Regarding NHS funding in general, The King's Fund recently published:
- How cold will it be? Prospects for NHS funding: 2011-17
- Our future health secured? : a review of NHS funding and performance
Academic pieces tend to be quite specific, around areas such as cancer drugs and learning disabilities, for example. It might be best to browse through the following search ('NHS' and 'funding') from our library database to see what is relevant.
Other publications you might be interested in are:
- The New NHS: A guide to its funding, organisation and accountability
- Formula Funding of Public Services
- The Department of Health publication ‘Cancer Reform Strategy’ contains a chapter on cancer funding in the UK (see Chapter ten: Funding world class cancer care pg 118)
Transfer of community services: Information on how mental health foundation trusts re-position themselves in the context of community services
Our publication Mental health and the productivity challenge discusses the role mental health trusts can play in supporting the wider health service and also includes a number of relevant case studies. This report was written in conjunction with The Centre for Mental Health. They have since produced a briefing for community groups
- Another relevant publication may be No health without mental health
- The most comprehensive information available on which trusts are integrating with community services came out in the Health Service Journal last year. Unfortunately this is only accessible through subscription. You should be able to access this if you contact your local NHS library. The reference is: Health Service Journal. Jackson, Alexandra. 2010; Transforming community services: where are we now? (1 October 2010) (Just to note the changes outlined in the HSJ article were not finalised until September 2011.)