Current awareness

Use these options to keep up-to-date with the latest information and research in your subject area. Please be aware that these services may use external resources/providers which may be based outside of the UK/EU. The resources/providers may not be covered by UK/EU data protection legislation. You should pay attention to the terms & conditions and privacy policy before agreeing to provide your own data.

Current News

You can keep aware of the latest issues affecting healthcare and the NHS by using good quality newspapers, news websites, news TV programmes and radio news bulletins.

The latest healthcare news headlines:

BBC Health News - for the latest stories affecting the healthcare sector.

BBC World Service: Health Check - podcasts of major health-related news stories.

Behind the Headlines - analysis of popular health stories. This site looks at the research behind some of the more exaggerated newspaper claims. These can often be useful teaching examples.

The Guardian Health section - health section from the Guardian newspaper.

The Independent Health News - health section from the Independent newspaper.

The Telegraph Health News - health section from the Telegraph newspaper.

Care Quality Commission News - latest news available from their website or sign up for their monthly newsletter. (Bulletin)

Department of Health Latest News 

King's Fund Blog - "up-to-date comment and analysis on the key issues surrounding health and social care in England"

Professional news

Receiving regular bulletins and updates from your professional organisations will help you to be aware of the latest developments and guidance affecting your profession. Organisations can use a variety of different communication tools, including social networking. You don't have to sign-up for all of them, pick the one(s) that most suit you.

The Outreach team publish a number of current awareness bulletins.

Clinical Effectiveness Bulletin (Monthly) Produced for staff in the Primary Care Trusts in North Staffordshire. This aims to draw attention to key documents, guidance and evidence-based reviews on clinical effectiveness. Sources used include: NHS Evidence ** Department of Health ** Cochrane Library ** King's Fund

Health Inequalities Bulletin (Bi-Monthly) Produced for staff in the Primary Care Trusts in North Staffordshire. This aims to draw attention to key documents, guidance and evidence-based reviews on health inequalities. Sources used include: NHS Evidence ** Department of Health ** Cochrane Library ** King's Fund

Mental Health & Social Care Current Awareness Bulletin (Monthly) Produced by the Essex Public Health Resource Unit Library on behalf of the East of England Health Libraries Group (EoEHLG). This highlights the latest evidence published in the following specialist areas: social work ** anxiety ** dementia ** depression ** dual diagnosis ** eating disorders ** learning disabilities ** O/C disorders ** occupational therapy ** post-traumatic stress ** psychology ** schizophrenia. The bulletin also includes highlights of new publications, forthcoming conferences and useful websites.

All these bulletins can be accessed by emailing the Outreach Librarians.

Big Four - weekly bulletin available from Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Library & Knowledge Service, lists the latest research published by the main "big four" journals: BMJ, JAMA, Lancet, and New England Journal of Medicine. (Bulletin)


BMA News - BMA membership login required to download the newsletter

BMA News for Students - BMA membership login required to download the newsletter

You can also keep up-to-date with the BMA via their: Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube communication streams

General Medical Council

GMC New eBulletin - includes archives

GMC News Centre - including press releases

GMC RSS Feeds - various feeds available regarding news, registration, education and jobs

Royal College of General Practitioners

Latest news - including monthly newspaper and RSS Feed

Social networking on Facebook and Twitter; videos on YouTube

Royal Society of Medicine

You can keep up-to-date with the RSM via Twitter and Facebook

Midwifery Matters Articles

Nursing and Midwifery Council Twitter

Royal College of Midwives - Facebook and on Twitter

Nursing and Midwifery Council Twitter

Royal College of Nursing - ebulletin online, find on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and watch on YouTube

General Pharmaceutical Council - latest news or RSS Feeds

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency - what's new, safety warnings, drug safety update

Royal Pharmaceutical Society - news, RSS Feed, blog, Twitter, YouTube

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy - news, sign up to the email news bulletin, blogs and columns, and Twitter

GP and Practice Team bulletin – produced by NHS England

Health Management and Policy Alert – produced by the King’s Fund

Latest research

Keeping up-to-date with the latest research will mean that you want to develop in-depth knowledge of your particular topic, subject or research area. This may involve a variety of research sources:

  • latest published research
  • connecting with colleagues and researchers in your area of work / study
  • collaborating with colleagues
  • sharing with a wider community

You can keep up-to-date with the latest research and headlines in your specialty by following the Health Library's topic-specific news feeds. You can view the list of feed resources, such as journals, news and related websites, and sign-up to receive a selection of the latest news via email in your inbox. eJournals included mainly refer to NHS-subscribed content.

Bulletins are generally sent out to subscribers on a regular basis either as links to ebulletins online or attached to emails as documents. They are often subject specific and can include a selection of citations for recently published research and latest news.

Database search alerts are most useful if you are carrying out some research, study or work in a particular topic over a period of time. Many databases allow you to save your search criteria, thus if you have a search that is providing you with many helpful results you can save the search criteria and then set an alert on the saved search. You will then be emailed whenever new material is added to the database that matches your search criteria.

For step-by-step instructions on setting up database alerts see our Current Awareness online help.

You can sign up to receive alerts of the latest published table of contents from journals or database services.

Sign up to individual journal titles that you are interested in or that publish material in your subject area - you will often have to register. Update emails will usually be free though you may not get access to article full-text unless we have a subscription to the title.

Sign up to Zetoc alerts - the British Library’s Zetoc service is a database service. This allows you to request alerts for specific journal titles or specific search criteria. This is a subscription service and is only available to Keele users via their IT account computer login.

Sign up to Journal TOCs - this is a free database service which allows you to request alerts for a selection of specific journal titles or specific search criteria.

Browse Ebling Library Journal feeds list - here you can find the RSS Feeds for a selection of healthcare-related journals.

There are a number of organisations that publish reviews, including systematic reviews, and guidance on clinical conditions and interventions. You can often sign up so that you are alerted when new publications are available. It is unusual for these to be condition specific. The communication route available may vary.

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination - latest news, and Twitter.

Cochrane Library - FacebookTwitter and Evidently Cochrane blog

NICE - all news, NICE news via Twitter.

World Health Organisation - various news channels via RSS Feeds, on Facebook, on Twitter and YouTube channel.

You may be more familiar with using social networking and other online tools for keeping up-to-date with friends and family. However these tools are also being considered as communication tools for information / research collection and dissemination. I have collected a number of articles, presentations and videos relating to this subject which you might want to browse through - Healthcare Researchers and Social Media. Here you will find help on how to get started, information about the benefits of using these tools as well as discussion around some of the issues to be wary of.

Social Networks

Social networks offer you the opportunity to network with distant colleagues and other people working in your field; as well as follow the activity of organisations and people related to your profession or subject area.

For examples of organisations on Facebook see the Health Library Facebook page. Our "liked" list includes a number of NHS and healthcare related organisations. There are other networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Google+, as well some which are specific to particular professions or subject areas; for example,, Medicine2.0.

I have collected some examples of professional organisations and some organisations producing healthcare reviews and guidance on Twitter.


Following blogs is another way to keep up-to-date with latest news and the activities and publications of significant people in your subject area. By using a feed reader you can subscribe to many blogs and then simply check up on them all at a time that suits you. By creating and updating your own blog you also give yourself an opportunity to develop an online presence, practice your writing skills and promote your own work. This also allows others to find and follow your work.

Sharing Your Work

There are a whole range of tools available that allow you to share your work; sites that allow you to share videos, images, and presentations as well as develop your own publications in a variety of creative ways.

Social Bibliography

There are a number of tools available that allow you to easily store your references and share them with other people. Web-based tools also allow you to access your account from any internet-connected PC. These tools can help you to identify similar people who are working in your subject area and likewise allow others to find you. See our delicious links for a selection.


These lists are by no means exhaustive, definitive lists but will give you an idea of the types of information being published in these formats. It is very much up to you to decide what will be most appropriate and useful to you in your research / study / work and what is the most effective format that suits you.