Essex Evidence-Based Practice

The services provided by the Essex Public Health Resources Unit (EPHRU) have now transfered to Commissioning Support within Essex County Council.

These pages replace the ePH website formally managed by EPHRU. If you have any queries regarding this change please email

We hope that the resources and services available (such as Athens and help with literature reviews) will help commisioners and other professionals to make evidence based decisions.  

Please see the 'Evidence resources' tab below for more information about our current and future services.

Evidence Resources 

These pages replace the EPHRU website formally provided by the Essex County Council Public Health team. This service is now managed by Organisational Intelligence and intends to support Commissioiners and commissioning partners with evidence based decisions. Please email if you have any queries.

What do we have to offer to you?

  • You can request journal articles, literature reviews and request training to help you undertake your own literature searches. You can also access key documents of relevance to public health and mental health.
  • Journal article service We can supply some articles from journals we do not hold. Please email us with your requirements.         
  • Literature reviews
    We can carry out a comprehensive literature review on a wide range of topics. 
  • Training
    If you want to do your own literature searches but do not know how to we can provide training on using health databases. Group training sessions run at various times throughout the year. One to one session can also be arranged. 
  • Athens Registration
    We administer Athens registration - you will need an Athens account to access healthcare databases and online full text journals.

Contact Hours

You can contact us at any time by email but our office hours are generally 9 till 5 Monday to Friday. Please email the team at   


Athens support is provided free of charge to NHS commissioning support units, Clinical Commissioning Group staff, GP practice staff and to Essex County Council staff. Some Article requests can also be provided free of charge to other partners of Essex County Council. 
If you work for Essex County you do not have to pay for articles or literature reviews. 

For further details please contact the team by email

Athens Passwords

What is an Athens password? 

An Athens username and password verifies that you are working within the NHS or within a public Health organisation. It gives you access to health care databases, online fulltext journal articles, images, the BNF and much more. The Web of Knowledge database is also available

How can I obtain an Athens password?

Obtaining an Athens password is by online registration. Please note that the registration and login pages for athens are now managed by the NICE.

Make sure you register for an Athens password on an organisation computer and if possible with an organisation email, so the Athens system can recognise you. 

  • You can still register at home, but you may have to wait for your credentials to be verified.  
  • However, once you have your Athens password you can use it from your home computer.

Please note that the NICE system replaced the athensams Eduserv system on the 6th of February 2014. If you exeperince any problems please let the team know. 

Athens List of Journals

Journals and Literature

The NHS Workforce Development Confederations have provided funding for a core set of health information databases which gives you access to 8 databases which allow you to search for articles, and the full text electronic versions of over 800 journals, covering medicine, nursing and psychiatry.


Soc Index is a full text search facility with instant access to a wide range of sociological journals (  abortion, criminology and criminal justice, demography, ethnic and racial studies, gender studies, marriage and family, political sociology, religion, rural and urban sociology, social development, social psychology, social structure, social work, socio-cultural anthropology, sociological history, sociological research, sociological theory, substance abuse and other addictions, violence and many others)

The Healthcare Database Advance Search enables searches within the following databases:

AMED (Allied and Complementary Medicine)
1985 to present
Covers alternative and allied disciplines (eg podiatry, palliative care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, etc.)

BNI (British Nursing Index)
1985 to present
Covers the UK’s most popular nursing material

CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature)
1981 to present
Covers almost all English language nursing journals plus allied health disciplines (North American bias)

1980 to present
Covers biomedicine, drugs and pharmacology (European rather than USA emphasis) substance misuse, occupational and environmental health etc.

Health Business Elite contains full text content from 480 journals, detailing all aspects of health care administration and other non-clinical aspects of health care institution management.

The Health Management Information Consortium database is a compilation of data from two sources, the Department of Health's Library and Information Services and King's Fund Information and Library Service.

1950 to present
Vast source of medical information covering the whole field of medicine - probably the most well-known of the Core Content resources.

1806 to present
Covers mental health issues together with anthropology and law.

You can also access a number of journals through the NHS East of England Collection .

All the databases above can be accessed using an Athens password which you can obtain as described in the tab above. 

You can also search the following databases without an Athens account:

Cochrane Library


We have put together a table of just some of the journals that are available online.

For the complete NHS National Core Collection go to:

My Journals in Health Information Resources

For the NHS East of England Collection go to: New Journals Collection

All CCG staff in Essex have access to the Emerald eJournal collection

These eJournals are automatically included in a search in


Once you know which literature you need you may need to locate the articles. It is easier to know which articles are available in full text if you have logged into Athens before trying to access them. If you need any assistance with this or with your literature searching please contact our Evidence Based Practice email.

In the event of a request made for personal study purposes, we can carry out basic database /journal searches to be used as information support. They are not guaranteed as a comprehensive review as this should be performed by the student as part of their educational development. We are happy to deliver training to enable this personal learning process.

Recently completed literature searches for Staff in Essex, Southend and Thurrock:

For a list of literature searches completed in 2014_15 and current subscriptions please click here

For a list of literature searches completed in 2013 please click here

If you would like to receeve a copy of of any of the above please contact



We have an online catalogue which gives access to hundreds of eBooks. 

The collection focuses on Public Health and Mental Health but also includes some core texts. 

A collection of 268 public health eBooks has been purchased and they have been uploaded onto the eBook catalogue which can be searched in the usual way.

You can also view the collection by topic here

They can also be accessed by going to EBSCOHost ebooks and logging in with your Athens password. Once logged in scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on: EBSCOHost ebook page

Ebooks in NHS Evidence (known as MyiLibrary on the Athens page) provides online access to the full text of over 300 eBooks in the NHS National Core Collection including titles from the World Health Organization and major publishers and includes Oxford Handbook titles.

Books included in this collection:
• The Oxford Textbook of Primary Medical Care
The Oxford Textbook of Public Health

The national collection already focuses on mental health and the East of England NHS Librarians Mental Health Special Interest Group has purchased three further titles available to all staff in the Essex CCGs.

The titles are:
• Learning Disabilities: Practice Issues in Health Settings: Margaret Todd
Offenders, Deviants or Patients?: Prins
• Seminars in General Adult Psychiatry. College Seminars Series: Stein 



Below is a list of just a few websites which may be of interest.

EEL - Eastern Electronic Library for Health & Social Care
NHS Evidence
National Library for Public Health 
ERPHO - Eastern Region Public Health Observatory
Government Office for the East of England
Kings Fund Research/publications
Public Health Medicine Training in the Eastern Region
University of Cambridge - Institute of Public Health
Public Health Resource Unit
Primary Care Electronic Library
Centre for Health Economics
East of England Strategic Health Authority
Basildon and Brentwood CCG
Castlepoint and Rochford CCG
Southend CCG
Thurrock CCG
JSNA profiles of CCGs
Communities and Local Government

Mental Health Resources

Every week staff at the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust produce the Mental Health & Social Care Current Awareness Bulletin.

If you would like to receive it please contact either :  or  

If you want access to past versions please contact:

Free iPhone Apps for Mental Health!

Here are three free iPhone apps on mental health and psychiatry. You will need an iTune account to download. Click on the title of the app below and it will take you to more information. You can then click on the View in iTunes button to start the download process

Mental illness:

This site is useful for all healthcare professionals and covers the majority of mental health issues

Psych Drugs:

This application will give you information on Psychotropic medications. A search will produce brand names, generic names, indications and dosages.



Over a 1000 frequently used mental health terms, phrases and definitions. Useful for all healthcare professionals.


Past Agendas and Information on the Essex Sexual Health Network will be moved to another location on Essex Insight.

The meetings for the Sexual Health Network are held quarterly at Anglia Ruskin Univerity, Chelmsford. 

If you would like any further information on the planned work of the Sexual Health Network Groups please contact Adrian Coggins.

The Smoke Free Essex Public Health inititives/network is no longer active. However, information about the services available within the county for help to stop smoking can be found here.


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