Q. Copyright For NHS Staff


NHS Copyright Decision-Making Tool

NHS have launched a "Copy-Aid" to help NHS staff to make decisions on copyright matters. It is based on the terms of the CLA Licence for the NHS.

The CLA Licence Plus

The Department of Health pays the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) for a licence which allows all NHS organisations and staff in England to copy and share copyright protected resources that are owned or subscribed to by the NHS. This licence is called the CLA Licence Plus for the NHS in England. 

What is covered by the licence?

The licence allow authorised persons to photocopy, scan or print extracts from most printed and electronic books as long as they have been purchased by or are subscribed to by the NHS. 

A small number of books and journals are excluded from the licence and some works published outside of the UK cannot be copied digitally. If you are unsure whether the work you want to copy is covered by the licence you can use the CLA's online Check Permissions tool. 

What is allowed under the licence?

  • Up to one chapter or 10% of a book, whichever is the greater
  • No more than 10% OR two articles in a single issue of a journal, whichever is the greater
  • Any number of articles from a themed journal
  • Copied items cannot be used for commercial purposes
  • If used for training, no payment for the training must be involved
  • Within these limits you may make multiple copies and copies of copies, but only single paper copies may be made for patients and carers.

Can I share copies with colleagues?

Yes, you can share copies with work colleagues including via email. You can also store copies for personal use and access by colleagues on a secure network. 

Who is covered by the licence?

All members of the NHS workforce, including primary care and public health staff and students on placement. 

Copyright in NHS-Higher Education crossover situations

The HE and NHS Licences from CLA are different, and situations can arise when it is difficult to decide which Licence to apply.

And see here for general copyright information for NHS staff.

Further information

Information about NHS staff access to library resources at King's is available in the NHS Library Guide

If you have a specific NHS copyright query you can contact nhscopyrightqueries@libraryservices.nhs.uk for help and advice.

  • Last Updated May 06, 2020
  • Views 18
  • Answered By Pete Garner

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