Knowledge and Library Teams

The primary care workforce in Devon is served by the Knowledge and Library Services at the following trusts:

Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – Eastern & Northern
Torbay & South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

They are available to help with your all your knowledge and information needs. This can be anything from helping set up your NHS OpenAthens account to searching medical databases for high quality evidence to support your clinical and non-clinical practice. Use the buttons below to find out more about their services and what resources are available to you. Don’t forget you can use their libraries in person if you would like.

What is NHS OpenAthens?

NHS OpenAthens is a system that provides you with a username and password to access lots of electronic resources, including ebooks, ejournals, databases and much more. As primary care staff, an NHS OpenAthens account is available to all of you.

Registering for an OpenAthens is free and easy. Just follow this link

and enter your details, choosing “Primary Care & ICB staff in Devon” as your organisation.

If you use an NHS email address, access should be immediate and you’ll receive an email with your log in details. If you don’t have an NHS email address, please use your work email address. Your account will be then authenticated.

If you already have an OpenAthens account but need your password reset or a reminder of your login details, just email

BMJ Best Practice

BMJ Best Practice is the point-of-care clinical decision-making tool provided to you by NHS England. It offers a step-by-step approach to help manage patient diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prevention. It has a useful comorbidities section, providing tailored advice for treatment for those with common comorbidities. It also provides links to patient information leaflets, calculators, videos and much more. The data is fully evidenced-based, reviewed and updated.

When signing in to BMJ Best Practice your organisation is “NHS in England”, then enter your username and password.

New to using it?

Here’s a 6-minute video to show you how to get the most out of BMJ Best Practice:

This 3-minute video explains how the comorbidities function works:

It is also available as an app from your app store – but you do need to create a personal account on the website first before being able to use the app.

NHS Knowledge and Library Hub

The NHS Knowledge and Library Hub provides access to a range of high quality knowledge and evidence resources in one place, including: 

  • Journals, books and databases 
  • Clinical decision support resources including NICE Guidelines
  • Policy and management information and research literature

Royal Marsden Manual

The Royal Marsden Manual (RMM) is an online platform that covers the ‘gold standard’ latest evidence-based clinical nursing procedures relating to every aspect of patient care.

Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines

The Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines is an essential evidence-based handbook for expert guidance on the safe and effective prescribing of psychotropic agents.


The NHS provides access to a range of specialist databases – listed below. Getting the best search results from a database is easier if you have been trained to use all of the different features such as limits and filters – our knowledge specialists are on hand to give tailored 1:1 or group online support and training. Email to request training at your convenience.

The easiest way to access all of the databases is via the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub – the databases are listed at the bottom of the first page under ‘In-depth searching’ and you’ll need to sign in with your OpenAthens account using the yellow bar at the top.

AMED – Allied and Complementary Medicine Database

Subject areas: complementary medicine, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, palliative care and rehabilitation.

BNI – British Nursing Index

Subject areas: nursing and midwifery.

CINAHL – Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature

Subject areas: nursing, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nutrition and dietetics.


Subject areas: pharmacy and toxicology, general medicine, medical technology and biochemistry.


Subject areas: nursing (administration, management and education), occupational health, physical therapies, nutrition and dietetics.


Subject areas: health service policy, management and administration, with an emphasis on the NHS (searches Department of Health Library and Information Services and the King’s Fund database).


Subject areas: general medicine, biosciences, pharmacy, dentistry and nursing.


Subject areas: psychology, psychiatry, mental health.

Social Policy and Practice

Subject areas: public health, equality and diversity, workforce development, social work and social care, climate change and the environment, law.


Subject areas: general medicine focussing on high quality, evidence-based sources.


The NHS subscribes to hundreds of e-books available from a number of different platforms which are available for all NHS staff and accessible via your OpenAthens ID.

A collection of more than 250 e-books covering a range of subject areas including primary care and general practice, psychiatry, nursing, key clinical topics, health management, as well as mentoring and coaching titles. Kortext also has these special collections, just click on the links to browse and access the titles.

Oxford University Press

A collection of 145 e-books from Oxford University Press including 

A full list of all titles can be found here.

Further e-books, covering all aspects of primary care, can be found here.



The NHS subscribe to a wide range of journals. You can use the online browsing platform BrowZine to see what titles are available.

LibKey Nomad

A browser extension, which enables links to full-text articles when you are searching open web content, e.g. publishers websites, Google Scholar or PubMed.

LibKey Nomad consults our journal holdings data and open access alternatives to determine the best place to source the article from.

Watch this video to see how Libkey Nomad makes it much easier to access resources:

How to access LibKey Nomad

You can install LibKey Nomad on your personal device, following the instructions below:

  • Download LibKey Nomad onto your own device here
  • Once downloaded, simply search and select, Primary Care & ICB Staff in Devon.

Then all you need to do is look out for the green flame when searching for articles and login to your NHS Open Athens account.

Request an Evidence Search

Our knowledge specialists are happy to perform evidence searches on your behalf. You can use this service to find answers to unusual or complex clinical and administrative questions, or establish an evidence base for a potential change in your practice. We cannot perform an evidence search for you that will form part of assessed academic work, but we would be happy to offer advice and 1-2-1 training.

Several databases will be searched to provide good quality evidence-based information to support research, guideline and care pathway development, audit or policy. The results can be summarised for you, or they can provide a list of bibliographic abstracts, references and full-text links. Please allow 10 working days (excluding bank holidays) for the return of your results.

To give you an example, here are some topics we’ve run searches on in the past:

  • Preventing challenging behaviour in dementia patients
  • Primary care staff education in oncology
  • Training for family carers of patients with a mental health diagnosis – does training improve outcomes for patients
  • Reducing frequent attenders to primary care


Whilst care has been taken in the selection of the materials included in this evidence search, the knowledge specialists are not responsible for the content, accuracy, or comprehensiveness of the research information. You must not use the results of this search for commercial purposes. Any usage or reproduction of the search output should acknowledge the knowledge specialist that produced.

Request an Article

Although a great number of journals are available to you for free, you may need to access something which the NHS does not subscribe to. If an article that you need is not available, then the knowledge specialists can try to get it from another library for you.

You can request any articles found on the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub that have a Request this Item button. If you did not find the article here, then you can request it separately at Request an article

Please note that due to copyright restrictions we are unable to process more than two article requests from a single journal issue.

Training and CPD

The knowledge specialists can provide tailored 1:1 or small group training on the following topics:

  • Health Literacy
  • Critical Appraisal
  • Database Searching
  • Specific Resource Training
  • How to use OpenAthens
  • Journal Clubs

The training can be provided online, or in person by arrangement. If you would like any training, please contact us on

Contact Us

Feel free to contact us on or to contact any knowledge and library service individually. You are also very welcome to visit us in person and make use of our physical facilities – simply click on any of the names below for a map.

Exeter Health Library

Tel: 01392 406800


Royal Devon Knowledge & Library Service Northern

Tel: 01271 322363


Plymouth Health Community Library

Tel: 01752 439111


South Devon Healthcare Library

Tel: 01803 656700


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