A pilot version of the National electronic Library for Health is now available at http://www.nhs.uk/nelhÂ The library, which has been designed primarily for doctors and other professionals, will also be open for patients to read information about medicine and health. It is planned to link the service through the NHS Direct Online website so that more patients can gain easy access.The Cochrane Library and Clinical Evidence database are the main components of the Library. Under a licensing agreement they can be accessed by NHS staff, students and service providers in England. An extension of the agreement to all Higher Education and Further Education staff and students is likely in the near future. Patients will have to pay an annual subscription to gain access. Authorised users will also be able to access the library from home in the near future.
The main library, which has free access, also includes a Hitting the Headlines service providing a weekly commentary on the more interesting health related stories on new treatments appearing in the press. There is also a Resource Centres with content on topics such as searching, knowledge management, and quality in the NHS, together with links to relevant website