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Current Awareness Updates: a milestone for the RCS Library and Surgical Information Services

13 Apr 2018

Sarak Kennedy, Sophie Gibbs, Kirsty Morrison

April 2018 marks an important milestone for the RCS Library and Surgical Information Services: after much planning and scoping research, there is now a Current Awareness Update for each of the ten surgical specialties.

Full coverage 1: We did it!

In 2012, the Library began to pilot a new Current Awareness Service, which was developed based on feedback from RCS fellows and members. From 2012-2016, this RCS membership benefit involved the production of a number of specialty-specific email bulletins, which curated the latest clinical evidence in a concise and easy to read format. Our information specialists, in conjunction with the help of panels of specialist advisors, made up of the College’s membership, covered 8 specialty areas: plastic and reconstructive surgery, trauma and orthopaedic surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, emergency general surgery, urology, vascular surgery, paediatric surgery, and colorectal surgery, along with a separate patient safety bulletin. These were produced monthly to provide CPD support and save valuable time for our surgeons and trainees.

Full coverage 2: Feedback

Survey Responses 2017

In 2017, the service underwent a full review and was rebranded as the Updates. A number of changes came about through this process: improved work processes and built-in resilience among the team, better documentation and support materials, the decision to embed only the most relevant patient safety content into each Update. These changes to the service and the ongoing support of the College have allowed us to meet our commitment to launch this unique service to all specialties by April 2018.

We are absolutely delighted to be able to fulfill this goal with the recent launch of the three new Updates in oral and maxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery and otolaryngology, bringing the Current Awareness Service to full coverage for the first time. The Updates include articles, guidance and policy documents, which are the evidence base for your clinical practice. Citations include a brief summary and link directly to the full text of the article, where openly available or covered by the College’s numerous subscriptions to e-journals. By keeping abreast of research findings and trends, you will be able to ensure that you are practicing surgery in line with the most current evidence available.

Full coverage 3: Oral & Maxillofacial Update

Full coverage 4: Neurosurgery Update

Full coverage 5: Otorhinolaryngology Update

If you would like to learn more please visit our webpage or email us at

Sarah Kennedy, Senior Information Specialist

Sophie Gibbs, Information Specialist

Kirsty Morison, Information Specialist

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