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Our new uplifting collection: by NHS staff, for NHS staff

We are delighted to announce that The Reading Agency and Health Education England have crowd-sourced an uplifting book collection and a supporting list of digital resources, all recommended by NHS staff, for NHS staff.

The collection will be available in all 184 Health Education England libraries, so NHS staff can easily access the books.

All books have been recommended via a survey of NHS staff, and the final list selected by a panel of NHS staff. The book collection contains fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

A supporting collection of uplifting digital resources, including poems, websites, videos and apps, is also available here. These can be used via any computer or mobile device.

The book collection of 10 titles launches today, on Wednesday 7 July, as part of Health Education England’s Health Information Week.

The books

The ten titles included the collection are:

Libby Page, author of The Lido said:

“I’m delighted that The Lido has been included as an uplifting read for inclusion in NHS libraries for staff. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals within the NHS do such a fantastic job and if my book is able to offer them a moment’s pause and respite after a busy and stressful day, that means a lot to me. Mental health is a subject close to my heart and I believe it’s vital that those in caring positions are also supported to take care of themselves; reading can be a welcome distraction and moment of calm. My sister and best friend are both trainee doctors so I’ve seen first-hand how challenging working in healthcare can be – I hope that dipping into The Lido will provide a well-deserved break, as well as touching on subjects like mental health and loneliness that I’m sure NHS staff encounter daily in their jobs. I feel very proud to have my book included on this wonderful list.”

Mary Dickins, author of Happiness FM said:

“It is such a pleasure and a privilege to be included on this list especially alongside so many illustrious writers. I am particularly thrilled to be given a chance to give back to the brilliant and brave NHS staff who have done and continue to do so much for us all, too often at the cost of their own health and wellbeing. I really hope this little book brings a smile to the reader and some much-needed escapism.”

Ruth Carlyle, Head of Knowledge and Library Services, Head Education England said:

“NHS knowledge and library services provide access to evidence for care, but they also provide support to NHS staff who want to develop new skills or to improve their own wellbeing. This set of books and digital resources funded by Health Education England adds to the ongoing role played by knowledge and library services within the NHS. We thank all NHS staff for the vital roles that they play and hope that the collection will bring individuals a few uplifting minutes.”

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency said:

“The Reading Agency is delighted to be working with Health Education England on this collection of uplifting books to bring the proven power of reading to NHS staff through their fabulous network of libraries.  This diverse collection of books, by fantastic authors, has been carefully selected by those working for the NHS to provide something uplifting for their colleagues who have worked ceaselessly and inspired us all during the pandemic and beyond.  Whether it’s a novel to lose yourself in, or a short story or poem to momentarily whisk you away from the now, there’s something for everyone in this list, hopefully encouraging us all to take a break with a book this Health Information Week.  With our thanks to all NHS staff across the country, we hope this collection brings a smile to your face.”

This collection has been put together by you – books that move you, give you hope, make you laugh. We hope that when you need a moment of respite, reading can offer a helping hand.

Head to to browse the collection.

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