NIMDTA said, the HSC Library did

NIMDTA (Northern Ireland Medical & Dental Training Agency) trainees recently participated in a focus group, during which they were asked about their awareness of, and engagement with, services available from the HSC Library.

Lots of interesting comments were made by the trainees during the focus group. Below are a selection of them, along with what the HSC Library has done in response to them.


1. Joining the HSC Library

NIMDTA said: “The HSC Library application forms are not easy to access… It would be easier to have an ‘opt out’ membership system.”

HSC Library did: We are working to introduce an on-line registration form so that filling in a paper membership form will no longer be necessary. Also, from August 2017, all new NIMDTA trainees will be signed up automatically as members of the HSC Library, with the ability to opt out if they so wish.


2. Facilities on offer

NIMDTA said: “Awareness of the other facilities on offer might [motivate me to join the HSC Library].”

HSC Library did: We have produced an on-line guide for NIMDTA trainees, introducing them to the different branches of the HSC Library, and to the range of facilities that are on offer besides traditional books and journals. The guide is viewable at:  

NIMDTA have included information in this guide in new leaflets that they have prepared, outlining educational facilities in each Trust, such as simulation facilities, computer access and meeting rooms.


3. Opening hours

NIMDTA said: “Could opening hours [be] extended and [could the Library be open at] weekends for exam preparation?”

HSC Library did: We are reviewing our opening hours, and will be surveying our users to gauge the demand for extended opening.

We are also working to raise awareness of the evening and Saturday opening currently provided by some branches of the HSC Library, and of the extended opening hours of QUB’s main McClay Library (which NIMDTA trainees and other HSC staff can use once they join the HSC Library)


4. Training

NIMDTA said: “[Trainees] might benefit from training in how to get the most from the Library.”

HSC Library said: We offer one-to-one and bookable group training sessions on using various HSC Library resources. Email Richard Fallis:  

Regular introductory and database training sessions are run in the HSC Library and various Trusts. View upcoming training sessions at:  

We are liaising with NIMDTA to increase the number of group training sessions that we offer specifically to NIMDTA trainees.


5. Library log-in

NIMDTA said: “Is it possible for my on-line Library log-in to be the same as my Trust log-in?”

HSC Library did: Unfortunately, this is not possible, because the authentication (i.e. log-in) system used by the HSC Library is different from the one used by the Trusts. However, we aim to make it as easy as possible for you to recover your HSC Library log-in details if you forget them.

If you have forgotten your HSC Library number, simply email for a reminder.

If you have forgotten your HSC Library password, go to, click Password Self-Service and follow the instructions.


6. Point-of-care tool

NIMDTA said: “A point-of-care tool like UpToDate is really important. Is one available via the HSC Library?”

HSC Library did: No dedicated point-of-care tool is available via the HSC Library.

The Library does offer access to ClinicalKey, which includes ‘First Consult’ point-of-care summaries. You can access this by going to > Databases A-Z > C > ClinicalKey.

A tendering process is ongoing, the outcome of which will hopefully be the delivery of a point-of-care tool via the HSC Library across all Trusts.

Meanwhile, some Trusts have subscribed to UpToDate (enquire locally for information), and the HSC Library is about to embark on a trial of various point-of-care tools for evaluation purposes. So watch this space!


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