Access to articles and e-books during  COVID-19 closures

During the disruption to our on-site services caused by the COVID-19 out-break, we are offering a special service to send NHS staff articles and e-book chapters that would normally only be available by using an Imperial College London PC in one of our libraries.

Use the form below to request up to ten journal articles and/or five e-book chapters. Enter a web link for the items you require and, if you wish, any additional information. We will email the items to you as quickly as possible.

Request articles or e-book chapters

Library resources for NHS staff and students

Listed here are resources provided by Imperial College London Library for NHS staff and students as well as brief overviews of their scope and how to access them. If you have any queries, please contact Your NHS Support Librarian  or ASK the Library.

If you require something that we do not provide access to, you can request articles and more through our Document Delivery Service as well as suggesting books for purchase.

Accessing resources via Imperial College Wi-Fi

You can use Imperial College's Wi-Fi network to access our resources in the library, and download articles for offline access anywhere. To do this, simply find Imperial-WPA in your device's Wi-Fi list, and log in with the username and password that was set up when you joined the library. If you don't know your login details you can contact us at

Accessing resources with an NHS OpenAthens account

While some resources require you to visit the library in person, many are available remotely from any device if you use an OpenAthens account. All NHS trust staff in England are entitled to an OpenAthens account associated with their specific trust; this provides access to content purchased nationally, regionally and locally. Additionally, Imperial College London uses OpenAthens to extend access to further content for NHS staff at associated trusts.

More information on registering for and using an OpenAthens account is available at the OpenAthens home page. For queries regarding NHS OpenAthens please email 

NICE Evidence Search

NICE Evidence offers access to guidelines, care pathways, clinical knowledge summaries, policy documents and more. It includes the British National Formulary and British National Formulary for Children. Information and sources provided on NICE Evidence tend to be point-of-care or evidence summaries rather than primary research, and some information provided is NICE-accredited. This is an ideal place to look for NICE information, topic overviews, and synthesized evidence.

Healthcare Databases Advanced Search

Healthcare Databases Advanced Searchis an interface for accessing a set of databases accessible to all NHS staff with an active OpenAthens account and is recommended as a tool for undertaking literature searches for journal articles. The included databases are currently: MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED, British Nursing Index, HMIC, EMCARE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and PubMed.

These databases can be accessed from any device with internet access, and full-text is provided where available. Your NHS Support Librarian can meet with you to discuss your database searches and will be happy to guide you if you are a beginner. Training is also available.


Imperial College London and NHS England provide access to 1000s of journals online through publishing platforms like Oxford University Press, Springer, Wiley, and more.

You can browse an A-Z list or search journals available anywhere using your OpenAthens login by visiting the Journals A-Z listing on the NICE Evidence website. The listing for each journal specifies whether all or only some of the content is available as full text.

You can also search for journals using Library Search. These listings include full text online access via Imperial College London networked PCs or Imperial College's Wi-Fi network in the Library, open access listings, plus information about physical holdings.

For any journal articles where access is not provided, please consult the Document Delivery Service. Library Services offers free and unlimited ordering of journal articles for educational or clinical use (restrictions apply).


Oxford Medicine Online gives access to over 900 e-books covering a wide range of medical specialities, over 700 videos and 10,000 images, diagrams and charts. E-books include the Oxford Textbooks, Handbooks, Nursing Handbooks and Specialist Handbooks collections. Access is unrestricted when using an Imperial College networked PC or Imperial College's Wi-Fi network in the Library and via OpenAthens when off-site. Text search functions also allow you to find relevant passages and chapters within general and speciality works.

E-book collections subscribed to via Imperial College Library are accessible on Imperial College London networked PCs or via Imperial College's Wi-Fi network in the Library and can be found via searching Library Search.

Point of care / clinical decision support tools

BMJ Best Practice (OpenAthens)

BMJ Best Practice is an online point-of-care decision support tool. It provides access to the most recent evidence-based information to help inform and guide clinicians and practitioners in their clinical decision making and is available to NHS staff through their OpenAthens accounts.

To access Best Practice, log in on the BMJ Best Practice NHS page using your OpenAthens account. Alternatively, click on Log In on the website’s homepage and select Access through your institution, then choose NHS in England and log in using your OpenAthens account. Once logged in, you will be able to set up a personal account on the website itself. By registering a personal account, your activity can be logged and translated into CME/CPD credits. You can also use your personal account to download Best Practice as an app onto your Apple or Android device.

 VisualDx (OpenAthens)

VisualDx is clinical decision support system software, searchable by symptoms, signs, and patient factors. It includes tens of thousands of images and graphics to speed comparison, recognition, and diagnosis. VisualDx is used to validate a diagnosis, access next steps for management and care, and for patient education.

To access VisualDx log in to your OpenAthens account, go to the My Resources page, choose VisualDx and then select NHS in England as your institution. Once logged in you will be able to create a personal account and download the VisualDx app.

UpToDate (ICHNT intranet)

UpToDate is an evidence-based medicine resource providing point-of-care clinical information. Information provided is aimed primarily at clinicians, though patient and plain language information is also provided. UpToDate is written and regularly reviewed by physician authors, editors and peer reviewers.

UpToDate is available without a personal login from Imperial College London networked PCs or via Imperial College's Wi-Fi network in the libraries. Imperial College NHS Trust staff can use it off-site. To do so access via a Trust networked PC through the Trust’s intranet and create a personal account. This account will then be eligible for off-site access to the website and app. You will need to periodically sign in from a Trust networked PC to maintain eligibility, though warning emails will provide ample time to do so.

DynaMed (Chelsea and Westminster Trust login/OpenAthens)

DynaMed is a Clinical Decision Support Tool available to Chelsea and Westminster NHS staff. DynaMed presents the most current evidence, with summaries and recommendations included as part of each topic. Access DynaMed ; from Chelsea and Westminster trust PCs. You do not need a password, but away from the trust, you can log in to it using your OpenAthens account. You can also download the app version onto your Apple or Android device.

Training and Education

e-Learning for Healthcare (OpenAthens)

A national initiative to provide online training modules for the education and professional development of the health and social care workforce. Login is via OpenAthens or through a personal registration (use of work email is recommended).

Chelsea and Westminster e-learning (Chelsea and Westminster Trust login)

E-Learning modules provided by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for staff. Please note that  Library Services arenot involved in the administration of this content.

BMJ Resources

Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB) (Imperial College London access)

Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin is a monthly bulletin offering practical and impartial advice on treatment. DTB online has 24 years of online archives, full-text links, RSS feeds and online search features.

BMJ Case Reports (OpenAthens)

A growing repository for all healthcare professionals and researchers to submit, search and view case reports in all disciplines. Contact your NHS Librarian for details on how to submit a case report using an institutional fellowship code (provided by your Trust or the College).

Useful free websites

Useful free websites

Evidence based medicine

The Cochrane Library
A group of databases providing a collection of regularly updated systematic reviews on clinical treatments and interventions, to aid health care decision making.

Netting the Evidence
A Google based search system related to the methodology of evidence-based medicine and evidence based practice. Currently it assesses 100 evaluated sites.

TRIP Database (Turning Research into Practice)
Designed to answer clinical queries using the principles of evidence-based medicine, the TRIP Database includes Cochrane reviews, Clinical Evidence, Bandolier and over 100 generalist and specialist peer reviewed journals as well as guidance, electronic books, patient information leaflets and images.

A database of Best Evidence Topics (BETs). BETs are designed to provide rapid evidence-based answers to clinical questions. These are peer reviewed in the same way as other literature, but can be accessed quickly without the need for a literature review where time is of the essence and the patient is waiting. Developed at Manchester Royal Infirmary, the BestBETs database covers several areas of medicine, including Psychiatry, Surgery, Emergency Medicine and Paediatrics.

Statistics and guidelines

National Statistics Online
Provided by the National Statistics office of the UK, includes statistics such as cancer survival and GP consultations as well as data on dental health.

Health and Safety Executive Statistics
Provides access to statistics on work-related ill-health, injuries, dangerous occurrences, enforcement and gas safety.

Hospital Episode Statistics (HES)
The national statistical data provider for England of the care provided by NHS hospitals and for NHS hospital patients treated elsewhere. HES is the data source for a wide range of healthcare analysis for the NHS, Government and many other organisations and individuals.

Reference tools

NHS Acronym buster
Contains 600 commonly used abbreviations and acronyms  in the NHS.

Critical appraisal resources

Critical appraisal resources are listed on our Medicine subject support web page.

Critical appraisal resources