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Letters to the Editor
A high quality library service
  1. John Whitaker
  1. Correspondence to Maj John Whitaker, Department of Vascular Surgery, Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust, Pond Street, London NW3 2QG, UK; johnwhitaker{at}

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The Defence Medical Library Service (DMLS) mission statement is ‘to provide a high quality and cost-effective library and information service to meet the worldwide requirements of Defence Medical Services in the areas of clinical education and training in primary and secondary care.’1

I have access to three Athens literature accounts through my current workplace, Royal College membership and Defence Library Services. In addition, I can access two university library services through the local university hospital and via distance learning postgraduate studying. Despite this, after conducting literature searches, I routinely find a number of key articles inaccessible via these means.

DMLS staff are able to provide skilled assistance with literature searches valuable for busy clinical personnel. They have also been extremely effective in locating a wide range of articles that otherwise would have proved challenging to obtain. These articles have been forwarded either in paper or electronic format promptly.

Although DMLS is based at Whittington Barracks, Lichfield, email communication enables widely dispersed Defence Medical Services (DMS) personnel to access their assistance as many articles can be forwarded electronically. Further information and contact details can be found via the DMLS website.1 As a secondary care trainee based some distance from Lichfield, I have found the service both high quality and effective in accessing a wide variety of medical literature. Such a valuable service should be cherished and guarded by DMS personnel to ensure the DMS can continue to provide exemplary service into the future.



  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.