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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd


Focus Archive


September 1997
Sheila Pantry, OBE

Easy access to an information source containing the full text of health-related documents published by the United Kingdom Department of Health plus relevant legislation is now available in the Health-CD, published jointly by The Stationery Office and SilverPlatter Information, with the aid of the Department of Health. The documents are contained in three databases which may be searched either separately or together in the new compact disc.

These databases are:

Health-CD Collection which includes the Department of Health publications available within the public domain including Circulars, Journals such as Health Trends and NHS Magazine, Parliamentary Papers, Press Releases, Social Services Inspectorate publications, Statistical Publications and other departmental publications. Some of these titles have been published jointly with other UK Government Departments. The documents in the Health CD-Collection are listed by series and then alphabetically by title.

The Acts of Parliament Database: as the Department of Health is responsible for promoting and protecting the health of the nation and providing a national health service, the Acts included in this CD-ROM are primarily those major pieces of legislation which allow the Department to carry out these responsibilities. Also included are a few of the many Acts which play a major part in the health service.

The Statutory Instruments database: Statutes are affected over time by other pieces of legislation - Acts and other Statutory Instruments and the third database provides the full text of selected Statutory Instruments.

The documents contained in the three databases may be searched either separately or together. Before you begin your search session you will need to choose the databases you wish to search. If you are looking for a particular document you can browse the Table of Contents belonging to the relevant database.

When searching the databases by topic you will need to identify the important words and related terms for each concept. You can also search from the Index to check how many times a word appears, or to see which alternative form of words have been used. Full Text Searching by document element is also possible.

Each document is made up of a number of elements - for example chapter, section or heading titles, glossary terms, footnotes. You can use the Full Text option if you want to search selected elements of a document. If you wish to limit the results of your search, for example to documents of a particular type or within a series a number of limit fields have been created to allow you to do this.

The use of the asterisk or the question mark as a truncation aid will help when searching for particular words. Other "operators" such as "and", "with", "near", "not", " or", and "in" are also available to help refine and define your search.

Viewing the full text. A number of special features have been created which will allow you to navigate around the full text of the document with ease. These are - "The Record outline", "the Light Bulb icon" and the "Blue back arrow".

The products mentioned in these articles are available for a free trial. Why not try these for yourself and check out the contents of these exciting sources of information against your own workplace needs?