Epsom and St Helier Library and Information Services

SPONSORED: A technology review could bring long-term benefits to your service delivery, explains James Breakell, UK MD of D-Tech International.

Here, James Breakell tells us about D-Tech’s RFID installation at the University Hospital Library at Epsom and St Helier University.

The Library

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals’ Library and Information Services has two physical library sites. The main one is the Hirson Library situated in St Helier Hospital in Carshalton in Surrey and the smaller site is the Sally Howell Library in Epsom Hospital in Surrey.

The library provides a range of services to help its users find the best evidence to support their clinical decisions and patient care. The users include clinical staff such as medical doctors, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and non-clinical staff such as administrative staff, estates, porters and more. 

The Challenge

The Hirson Library moved in December 2017. In the planning stages of the move, the opportunity to include more up-to-date technology in the equipment and provide a better service for users was recognised.

The majority of library staff are part-time, working a whole-time equivalent of 5.36 employees. There are periods of the week, especially in the Sally Howell Library, when the libraries are unmanned. So, previously, users have not been able to access services such as borrowing books because providing a 24/7 service had restricted access to the library and did not include a self-service facility.  

The Solution

D-Tech installed a secureIT m-series single aisle RFID security system, a serveIT r-series desktop self-service unit at both sites, and processIT StaffPads (two at St Helier and one at Epsom). 

The Results

  Expanded services: 24/7 access to borrowing facilities

  Better use of resources: less staff resources spent on checking books in and out

  Improved user experience: self-service checkout available 

Customer comments

Potenza Atiogbe, Multiprofessional Education and Library Services Manager at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, says: “Users who want to access the library outside our staffed hours pay a £20 refundable deposit and they can use the facilities. Unfortunately, one of the services that they could not access outside of hours was borrowing books. This is a service that users had requested, so we sought a reliable solution with a good ROI that would benefit the library as well as its customers.

“The self-service terminals are easy to use. Users are issued with a PIN and password and, then, as well as being able to use the terminals out of hours, they  can use them during opening hours, too. Everyone gets very excited when we show them how they work and issue them with their PIN. They are very popular with users, especially those who are used to using them via public libraries. 

“With the StaffPads, we operate the manual mode in the circulation module at Epsom to issue and return books and the automatic mode/settings at St Helier. When our Library Management System moves to be fully hosted by IS Oxford, we will be able to have the automatic settings running across both sites using the circulation module. The second StaffPad at St Helier is used for labelling the books after cataloguing.  

“We chose D-Tech mainly because we had worked with the managing director, James Breakall, in a previous role; he had provided an excellent service and maintained good working communications with us. We did receive quotes from other suppliers, but D-Tech was more competitive and the equipment specifications were exactly what we required.  

“I have recommended D-Tech to two other NHS Trusts due to a very reasonable quote and excellent customer service. Both Trusts are working with James to finalise purchases. I have also recommended the tagging team who did a fantastic service. They tagged all the books across both sites in two days. This really helped us to start using the system across both sites quickly.”

For more information on D-Tech and its solutions, visit D-Tech’s website or call 01394 420077.