Suzanne Toft

Areas of responsibility
  • Emergency Departments

  • General Surgery

  • Pulvertaft Hand Centre

  • Trauma and Orthopaedics

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Measuring the impact of information skills training: a survey of health libraries in England

Authors: Stephen Ayre, ​John Barbrook, ​​Colin Engel, ​Patricia Lacey, ​Anita Phul, Paul Stevenson, Suzanne Toft

Citation: Health Information and Libraries Journal, March 2015, 32 (1): 50–60. doi:10.1111/hir.12079

Abstract: BACKGROUND: The lack of robust research measuring the impact of NHS based information skills training prompted the West Midlands Regional Trainers' Forum to conduct a post-training survey. METHODS: This is a multi-centred study which collected data from over 60 separate organisations. Survey questionnaires were completed by learners a few weeks after the training event. RESULTS: Five hundred and thirty-four responses were received. 82% of information skills training recipients indicated that they had implemented learning or changed practice as a result of the training. 70% of recipients indicated there had been an impact on patient care. DISCUSSION: The beneficial results from information skills training manifest in a multitude of ways. The results of this study indicate that the learning from information skills training is being used to reduce problems and address the key issues in modern health care. CONCLUSION: The results clearly demonstrate the value of information skills training and its beneficial impact on patient care, lifelong learning and other key NHS functions. This study shows information skills training as an important activity which supports the information literacy agenda, and has a positive impact across the four key functions of library and knowledge services within the NHS.

Key Messages

  • Information skills training has a positive impact on patient care, learning and teaching, research, and commissioning.

  • A survey containing data from many library services gives more useful data than a survey of a single library service.

  • Library services should provide information skills training.

  • NHS organisations that do not currently have a library service should commission one.

Suzanne Syst Rev.PNG

A qualitative systematic review of patients’ experiences of cannulation of arteriovenous access for haemodialysis

Authors: Catherine Fielding, Louise Bramley, Carol Stalker, Sarah Brand, Suzanne Toft, Heather Buchanan


Catherine Fielding, Louise Bramley, Carol Stalker, Sarah Brand, Suzanne Toft, Heather Buchanan. A qualitative systematic review of patients’ experiences of cannulation of arteriovenous access for haemodialysis. PROSPERO 2019 CRD42019134583 Available from:

Review question

What are patients’ experiences of cannulation of arteriovenous access for adults undergoing in-centre or home haemodialysis for end-stage renal disease?

Stage of review

Review Ongoing


Surgical interventions for the treatment of sacrococcygeal pilonidal sinus
disease in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Authors: Edward John Oliver Hardy, Philip J Herrod, Brett Doleman, Hannah G Phillips, Reesha Ranat, Jonathan N Lund

Citation: Journal of Pediatric Surgery 54 (2019) 2222-2233


We thank Susan Toft(sic), Clinical Librarian(sic), Royal Derby Hospital, UK for her help with performing the literature searches.

Non-pharmacological strategies to reduce blood pressure in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Authors: Philip J J Herrod, Brett Doleman, James Blackwell, Francesca O’Boyle, Jonathan N Lund, Bethan E Phillips

Citation: The Lancet, Volume 390 , S43. November 2017


We thank Suzanne Toft, chartered training librarian at the Royal Derby Hospital, for her help in designing and performing the database searches.


Exercise and other nonpharmacological strategies to reduce blood pressure in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Authors: Philip J J Herrod, Brett Doleman, James Blackwell, Francesca O’Boyle, Jonathan N Lund, Bethan E Phillips

Citation: Journal of the American Society of Hypertension. 2018 Feb 2. pii: S1933-1711(18)30009-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jash.2018.01.008. [Epub ahead of print]


The authors would like to thank Suzanne Toft, Chartered Health Librarian at the Royal Derby Hospital, for her help with the electronic database searches.

Developing and delivering a Reflective Writing Training Session for new, trainee, senior healthcare support workers, in collaboration with the Learning and Development team.

Authors: Suzanne Toft, Chartered Training Librarian, Library & Knowledge Service; Craig Meager, Professional Development Facilitator, Learning & Development;


The Training Librarian was approached by the Professional Development Facilitator for Vocational Training, to see if she could lead a session on Reflective Writing for the Level 3 Healthcare Assistants (HCAs), who had enrolled on the Level 3 Senior Healthcare Support Worker and Healthcare Support Services Apprenticeship Programme. The Training librarian was already running an established programme of Reflective Writing sessions aimed at supporting NMC Revalidation.


The aim of the session was to deliver a half-day session on reflective writing to support a cohort of healthcare assistants enrolled on the above Level 3 Programme.


The Training Librarian and Professional Development Facilitator met to discuss the content of the session in relation to the requirements of the programme, and the support that the Training Librarian could offer. The format of the session was discussed, with the Training Librarian emphasising the benefit of a mixed methods session, which would comprise a short presentation interspersed with group, or single, activities. This would enable people with different learning styles to benefit from the session. It was agreed that the Training Librarian would devise 5 everyday scenarios that the trainees could reflect on. Meanwhile the Professional Development Facilitator would devise 5 clinical scenarios. A further meeting was arranged, following email correspondence in between, to finalise the session.

What did the session include?

The session began with an explanation of what reflection is. Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle1 and Borton’s Model of Reflective Practice2 were then introduced. The session then moved on to explain the concept of reflective writing and the process of keeping a reflective learning log. The session then asked the trainees what they could reflect on. Some suggestions were made to help them. The class was then divided into five groups. Each group was given an everyday scenario to reflect on together. Twenty minutes was given for this activity. Once completed, the groups were asked to feed back to the rest of the class, thus allowing for learning from each other’s scenarios. A second activity then took place. This time the scenarios were clinically-based. The same feeding back process was repeated. A third practical activity then took place. This was a more private activity and was an opportunity for the students to reflect on their personal experiences so far and to begin their reflective learning logs. The session concluded with a selection of useful books being highlighted, along with raising awareness of the British Journal of Healthcare Assistants.

Implications for the future

Feedback from the students was very good and included the following comments: “informative yet interactive session”“the best training in 15 years” and “feel ready to learn and progress”.

Collaboration with Research And Development to deliver a joint Training Session, aimed at any clinician wishing to undertake a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) within the Trust.

Author(s): Suzanne Toft, Chartered Training Librarian, Library & Knowledge Service; Apostolos Fakis, Head of Medical Statistics and Data Management, Research & Development; Michael Jones, Medical Statistician, Research & Development;


The Library and Knowledge Service were approached by one of the medical statisticians from the Research and Development (R&D) department to ask if they could support them in delivering training to staff who were interested in undertaking research within the Trust. The Library had an established programme of critical appraisal sessions already in operation.


An initial meeting was arranged where the content of the library’s critical appraisal training was described, and the requirements from R&D explained. It was agreed that the Training Librarian and the Senior Medical Statistician would each go away and write a presentation to address their contribution. This was then followed up with email correspondence. Once the bare bones of the session had been devised a further face-to-face meeting was arranged. The initial session was then trialled.

Session Title

Undertaking Randomised Controlled Trials (RCT) Research: study design basics and critical appraisal.

What does the session include?

The session comprised two short presentations; the first was delivered by the Training Librarian, with the second presentation being delivered by one of the two medical statisticians. This is then followed by a practical critical appraisal of a recently published randomised controlled trial.

First Presentation

This presentation forms the starting point for someone wishing to undertake research. The trainee is informed that it is important to undertake the background research first, in order to prove that there is a need for the trial, or that there is a gap in the research. This involves finding out what has already been published on their topic and carrying out a literature review. The review then needs to be published before funding is applied for. The trainee is then informed that the Library provides a comprehensive literature searching service for all staff, which can help them with this process. The presentation shows how to request a literature search from the Library, followed by a demonstration of where to find evidence-based articles. The key trials databases are then highlighted. The presentation then moves on to explaining what critical appraisal is and why it is important, including an explanation of the hierarchy of evidence and what a randomised controlled trial (RCT) is. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) appraisal checklists and the GATE Frame are demonstrated. The presentation concludes by giving the trainees a list of useful websites and books.

Second Presentation

This presentation addresses the purpose of a clinical trial, gives an explanation of what a randomised controlled trial is, and highlights the additional aspects to be aware of, for example, the design, analysis & reporting of the trail, followed by giving a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of RCTs.

Practical Session

The practical component involves the trainees taking time to read through a pre-selected paper of a randomised controlled trial before working through the appropriate CASP checklist with the trainers, and discussing their opinions with their fellow trainees.

Implications for the Future

Over time the focus of the training has changed to teaching staff how to review publications, whilst providing an overview of what they need to consider if they wish to undertake a clinical trial. The sessions have since been delivered to Foundation doctors as part of the F2 Teaching Programme and also on the Core Medical Trainee Teaching programme. The sessions need to be regularly updated to reflect changes in trial protocol, to update the checklists and to refresh the paper studied in the session.