Copyright and the NHS

Home > Resources > Copyright and the NHS

The NHS has a copyright licence which allows NHS staff to make copies of items. Full details can be found on the Copyright Licensing Agency website.

The Copyright Licensing Agency provides a poster for display near copying equipment. It can be found here.

Please contact your local Healthcare Library if you need any more information.

The main principles are:

Printed material

PhotocopierCopies must be for NHS staff and for NHS purposes.

What can you copy:

You may copy up to two articles from a journal issue but no more than 5% of the issue (You may copy more if it is a themed issue).

One chapter from a book. This should be no more than 5% of the total number of pages in the book.

Multiple copies can be made (e.g. for teaching purposes, meetings, journal clubs, etc).

Single paper copies about a patient’s condition or treatment may be made for patients and carers.

Scanned copies of printed material

Scanned copies may be sent via NHS e-mail but not placed on web sites. Scanned copies can be used in PowerPoint presentations.

You are not allowed to make copies from maps or newspapers.

Electronic material

You should:

Download and print material for the purposes of private study and non–commercial research.

Always check copyright notices on websites.

Ask permission if you want to make more than one copy.

Not copy images or electronic media from websites without permission.

Only print out an article once unless the publishers' licence allows multiple copies.