NHS libraries adopt Koha open source library management system in regional consortia, hosted and supported by PTFS Europe

Andrew Auld - PTFS Europe Team Member

By Andrew Auld

29th September 2023 | Koha

29 September 2023

Multiple NHS library services in the regions of East of England, Kent Surrey and Sussex, London, the Midlands, North West England and Yorkshire/Humber have chosen Koha as the Library Management System for new and existing regional consortia. This week, the latest to go live is in the North West of England bringing together library systems from multiple NHS Trusts onto a single Koha system.

Shared instances of this Open Source solution are replacing standalone local systems, delivering improved access to resources for healthcare staff, time-savings for library staff, and cost-savings for NHS organisations, as well as aligning with the NHS strategy of adopting Open Source technology where appropriate.

PTFS Europe has worked in partnership with NHS England Workforce, Training & Education (NHSE WT&E) and NHS libraries to implement the new systems and will provide on-going hosting and support, helping to ensure the NHS derives maximum benefit from its investment in digital and print collections for healthcare staff and learners into the future.

Open Source Software in the NHS

Open Source software is increasingly used in healthcare and in public sector organisations, ‘be open and use open source’ being a well-established principle in the UK Government Digital Service’s Technology Code of Practice. The core values of the NHS in providing access to healthcare for all, free at the point of use, align closely with those of Open Source software communities. The principle of making technology and the source code freely available worldwide, and encouraging innovation and development locally but sharing those innovations globally sits well with an organisation like the NHS.

Koha Library Management System

With over 15,000 systems worldwide, Koha is one of the most widely used Library Management Systems (LMS) in the world. It is entirely web-based for both staff and library users. This helps make the system light, easy to use, easy to deploy and easy to manage.

Koha’s impressive feature set continues to evolve and expand to meet the needs of its user base. It includes modules for circulation, cataloguing, acquisitions, serials, course reserves, user management, inter library loans, and more.

Andrew Auld, PTFS Europe Commercial Director said “It is very exciting for us to be working so extensively with colleagues across the NHS in England to help them realise the benefits Open Source software solutions bring. We are particularly pleased to have the opportunity to develop new functionality in the software that will not only benefit NHS libraries but potentially Koha libraries around the world.”

About PTFS Europe 

PTFS Europe has a vision to make technology easy for libraries. We focus on enabling library users through high quality open source software solutions. Our way of working is characterised by listening, finding solutions, reliable delivery and above all open communication. Our highly skilled team has a friendly and approachable style in delivering our quality implementation and support services.

The reason so many people like working with us is that we solve problems, we don’t sell software. We listen, find solutions and commit to deliver these solutions for our customers as part of our complete managed service and support package. As an ISO27001 accredited company, our customers can rely on the quality and integrity of the support we provide.

More information on PTFS Europe: www.ptfs-europe.com

Any questions? Please contact Andrew Auld. [email protected]

About NHSE Workforce, Training & Education 

NHSE WT&E is responsible for the education, training and development of the NHS workforce in England, and has system-wide leadership role in relation to healthcare knowledge and library services. ‘Knowledge for Healthcare: mobilising knowledge, sharing knowledge, improving outcomes’ sets out the strategic framework for NHS knowledge and library services 2021-2026.



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