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CLA deal with NHS 'simplifies access to material'

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The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) has announced a deal with the Department of Health (DoH) that will simplify access to content for all staff of the NHS in England as well as employees in other bodies.

The partnership includes access to DRM-free articles from the British Library, one of the largest document collections in the world. It covers every aspect of scientific, technical, healthcare and human knowledge, in many languages and holds journals, books, conference documents, reports, patents and theses, as well as official publications and images.

CLA has also granted permission for staff of the NHS in England to share information with other organisations that hold a CLA licence, allowing the effective transfer of ideas and content.

Mat Pfleger, managing director of CLA, commented: 'We consulted with the NHS to better understand their needs and worked with them and the British Library to establish a licence package that supports their digital strategy. This project contains many ‘firsts’ and these unique features have all been developed with the NHS’ unique requirements in mind. This agreement demonstrates our ability to provide innovative solutions to meet our clients’ needs.'

Louise Goswami, national programme manager for knowledge for healthcare at Health Education England, which provides strategic leadership for NHS library services in England, added: 'Having a single CLA licence, which enables exchange of digital copies between staff working in different parts of the NHS – and now also with colleagues in other licensed organisations – can only help speed the process of getting research into practice to improve patient care.'

Andy Appleyard, head of Information services at the British Library, hailed the 'ground-breaking' collaboration: 'This aims to support the NHS in achieving its research objectives of ensuring easy and efficient access to the widest range of content, delivered digitally and providing excellent value for money.'