Service standards

We have service standards in the following areas. This summary is followed by more detail for each area.

  • Access
  • Learning environment
  • Reference and enquiry services 
  • Information Resources, Computing Facilities and Collections
  • Document supply
  • Induction
  • User education and information skill training



  1. All those eligible for membership will be able to join Health Care Libraries and use our service immediately during normal staffed hours.
  2. In 80% of case, applications for registration as a borrower will be processed within two working days and for the remainder within 1 week from submission of application.
  3. 99.5% of the year, Membership forms will be available from any BHCL library as well as via BHCL web pages.
  4. 95% of library members who provide an email address will be sent a membership renewal reminder.

Learning environment


  1. BHCL will provide a range of user, study and learning spaces including silent study areas, pc access areas, current journal areas and casual seating areas.
  2. BHCL will maintain a pleasant working environment. BHCL materials will be re-shelved and reader’s tables cleared (unless materials are in use) each working day. Display racks and notice boards will be checked monthly to remove out-of-date material.
  3. Stock will be kept in good order and in a satisfactory condition and replaced when necessary.

Opening hours

  1. BHCL will be staffed 95% of advertised staffed opening hours under normal operating circumstances.
  2. BHCL will be open 99% of advertised opening hours.
  3. BHCL staff will be available to take enquiries 100% of staffed hours.
  4. All staff will adhere to the University of Oxford’s Equality and Diversity Policy and a copy will be prominently displayed in the Library. 

Reference and enquiry services

Quick Reference

  1. In 85% of cases quick reference and bibliographic assistance will be given within 15 minutes during staffed opening hours. 

 Literature searches

  1. In 90% of cases literature searches will normally be completed within three (3) working days unless otherwise agreed with the user.
  2. Records of all searches will be maintained, including subject of search and sources used.
  3. 100% of urgent requests for clinical information will be dealt with immediately and at least within two hours unless made outside staffed hours when they will receive attention at the start of working hours on the next working day.
  4. 90% of respondents will indicate overall satisfaction levels “good” or “better” for searches undertaken. 

Telephone and email enquiries

  1. Under normal conditions, 85% of telephone enquires will be replied to within one working day.
  2. Under normal working conditions, 85% of emailed enquiries will be completed by the end of the following working day.

Information Resources, Computing Facilities and Collections


  1. Where appropriate, in 95% of cases, the most current editions of standard texts will be available. Otherwise, clinical material will not normally be more than ten years old except in the case of historical or special collections, or in fields such as mental health where older material is still relevant. 

Reader Requests

  1. Items requested for stock by borrowers and approved for purchase will be ordered within one month. In 85% of cases, items obtained will be shelf ready within one month from receipt.


  1. Requests for loans will be supplied within two (2) working days of request, where the item is available on the shelf in 95%f cases. 
  2. In 95% of cases, material not available on the shelf will be notified and a reservation or ILL arranged within three (3) working days of receipt of request.

Missing items

  1.  BHCL staff will make a thorough search for the reported missing item and will inform the user of progress within three (3) weeks, whether the item has been made available or not.


  1. Database PCs, word processing and associated packages and printers will be available to all members 95% of library opening hours.
  2. BHCL will register any member of ORH staff who requests Athens access.
  3. Photocopying facilities will be available to all members 90% of library opening hours.
  4. BHCL website will be available during normal working conditions, 24 hours a day, 365 days per week for 98% of the time.

Electronic Information Sources

  1.  The following core bibliographic databases will be available to memebers, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, DHData, Amed, Kingsfund, 24 hours a day, 365 days per week for 98% of the time.
  2. During Year 1, BHCL will support ORH’s use of remote access viewing of library services

Document Supply

Photoscopies from stock

  1.  In 90% of cases photocopies supplied by the mediated photocopying service will be dispatched within three working days. 99.5% of Urgent clinical requests will be supplied within one working day.

Interlibrary loans

  1. 80% of Inter-library requests will be processed within two (2) working days
  2. 90% of Inter-library requests will besupplied within ten (10) working days subject to material being available.
  3. Urgent clinical requests will be supplied within one (1) working day subject to material being available from an appropriate source.
  4. Inter-library requests that are unavailable from specified sources of supply will be reported as soon as the outcome is known.



  1.  Dependant upon demand, timetabled induction sessions will also be available each month.


  1. In 90% of cases, initial induction sessions will be available on request at the time of registration (within staffed hours) and will be of at least ten minutes duration, based upon release of staff by ORH Managers

User education and information skills training


  1. Search skills training sessions will be timetabled on a monthly basis and available to all full Library members. Critical appraisal training sessions are available on demand.
  2. 90% of trainees will indicate overall satisfaction levels of “good” or “better” for sessions attended.
  3. On demand, “bespoke” or group training sessions by topic and by discipline will be available for all all full Library members. 


  1. On demand one-to-one information consultancy training sessions will be available for all full Library members.
  2. 90% of one-to-one information consultancy sessions will normally be held within one week of a request being made, or at the user’s convenience, and will be timed wherever possible to meet the requirements of the user
  3. 90% of users will indicate overall satisfaction levels of “good” or “better”.

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