Issue date: 12 June 2003

The University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE), and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) are pleased to announce the creation of an important social care research collection based in Bristol.

The new resource has been created through the integration of the former National Institute for Social Work (NISW) library in UWE’s library. SCIE inherited the library as part of the process of transferring functions from NISW to SCIE.

The NISW collection comprises around 30,000 books and over 300 journal titles. About half of the books were part of NISW’s working collection of material published in the last 10 years. The other half consists of older material forming an archive of historic interest. Most of the literature is already indexed on the Caredata database, which is part of SCIE's electronic library for social care (eLSC).

The integration of the collection into UWE library, which began in summer 2002, is almost complete. The journals and the working collection should be included in UWE's online catalogue by the end of summer 2003.

SCIE and UWE will work together to maintain and develop the collection. UWE will continue to purchase social care material and much of the literature indexed by SCIE for the Caredata database will be added to the collection at UWE.

As well as UWE staff and students, SCIE staff will have access to the collection in support of their role to develop best practice guidelines and ensure that these guidelines contribute to practice and policy development.

There are plans for the collection to become a national resource. The library is exploring the possibility of offering access on a subscription basis. This service will initially be piloted in the south west of England, but it is hoped that it will be offered nationally in the longer term. UWE’s library service already offers borrowing rights to staff of organisations providing placements for UWE students and reference access to service users and others who have an interest in its collections.

Bill Kilgallon, SCIE chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have found such a good home for our library at UWE. This is a fine example of a partnership working well to improve the calibre and opportunities for social work students, who are the social care practitioners of the future. We are excited about the possibility of a national roll-out to extend the availability of this significant resource to many others in the field.”

Professor Steve West, dean of the faculty of health and social care at UWE, said: “UWE is particularly happy to have acquired the SCIE collection as the faculty of health and social care is developing its research and consultancy work in this field. Professor Harry Ferguson has recently been appointed to the chair in social work and a social care research and development unit has been established. The collection will also be of enormous value to students studying for the diploma in social work (DipSW) and those enrolling for the new social work degree, which UWE will be offering from September 2003.”

Notes for editors

The Social Care Institute for Excellence was established as an independent company and a charity by the Department of Health in England and by the Welsh Assembly in 2001.

Its role is to gather and publicise evidence of how to get the best results in social care, in order to improve social care policy and practice. Most of its funding comes in the form of grants from the Department of Health and the Welsh Assembly government. It draws on the expertise of people who use and work in services and on findings from research, inspections and service reviews.

SCIE’s job is to make this knowledge widely available, translating it into accessible policy and practice guidance and promoting its use to enhance the quality of social care services.

The charity works closely with service users and their supporters and carers, with practitioners and service providers and with social care researchers, educators and policy makers in the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors.

Contact numbers
For more information, please contact: Angela Upton, information officer, SCIE, tel: 020 7089 6840 or Jason Briddon, faculty librarian, health and social care, UWE, tel: 0117 344 8401

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