National Health Service's e-Library launches Speech Therapy Portal for health professionals

London 07 May 2001The British National electronic Library for Health (NeLH) has launched the first of a series of professional portals aimed at nurses and allied health professionals. The Speech and Language Portal offers a convenient and organised view of information available in the NeLH, tailored for speech and language therapists needs. During 2001, portals will be created for nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, podiatrists, dieticians, orthopaedists, psychologists, and radiographers. Access is via the World Wide Web and the majority of the site is accessible to both National Health Service (NHS) and non-NHS staff.

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Flis Parsons, Chair of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, commented: "This is a very important step in modernising the National Health Service. This allows speech and language therapists to utilise NHSNet as a clinical tool for the first time." Dr. Muir Gray, Director of the National electronic Library for Health, remarked: "By adding the Speech Therapy Portal, we are demonstrating that the National electronic Library is an instrument for all clinicians, particularly where it has been difficult to support smaller health professions using traditional methods."

Speech therapists will be able to access the latest versions of the Cochrane Library, a subscription-based electronic publication designed to supply high quality evidence to inform people providing and receiving care, and those responsible for research, teaching, funding, and administration at all levels. They will equally have access to British Medical Journal publishers' Clinical Evidence, as well as a newly created database of reviewed quality Internet resources supplied by the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied health Professions (NMAP).

NMAP constitutes a gateway to evaluated, quality Internet resources, aimed at researchers, academics, students, and practitioners in the health and medical sciences. NMAP is created by a core team of information specialists and subject experts co-ordinated at the University of Nottingham Greenfield Medical Library, in partnership with key organisations throughout the United Kingdom. Content providers from relevant professional organisations help to ensure that NMAP meets the needs of the professions. In addition to these resources, therapists will be able to access clinical guidelines, National Science Foundations, discussion groups, and the specialist virtual branch libraries.

Nick Rosen, Project Manager for NeLH Professional Portals and a Chartered Physiotherapist stated: "It is important that therapists give us plenty of feedback so that we can truly tailor it to their development needs and allow them to blend their existing knowledge with the developing evidence." The NeLH is aimed primarily at health care professionals. It provides quality assured health information, and a national and consistent knowledge service to support better health and care. The new Speech and Language Portal can be viewed at http://www.nelh.nhs.uk/speechtherapist.


Leslie Versweyveld

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