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Health literacy

We are working with other national and local partners to raise awareness of health literacy.


Health literacy is about people having the knowledge, skills, understanding and confidence they need to be able to use health and care information and services. Health literacy can be broken down to three parts:

  • people's skills, knowledge, understanding and confidence
  • how people use health services
  • how those health services, and the people that work in them, meet people's individual needs.

This means health literacy is very important to enabling people to be involved in their health and in staying healthy and well.

Together with Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England,we have invested in an innovative project to develop, test and implement a range of strategic and practical interventions. These interventions are aimed at improving awareness, knowledge and implementation of effective health literacy practice across the health and social care system in the East Midlands, to develop tried and tested resources and approaches that could be replicated elsewhere. The objectives and activity will fall under these broad areas:

  • delivering and evaluating training to staff in different settings
  • developing and testing approaches to demonstrate health economics
  • scoping for a potential of introducing a module on health literacy for higher education
  • to test out whether improving people’s heath literacy can also enhance their ability to self-manage their long term conditions.

We are also a member of a National Health Literacy Collaborative, with other arms length bodies, government departments, representative and delivery organisations, and the voluntary sector. This group will look at developing a national strategy for health literacy and the development of a collection of health literacy resources so that practitioners looking for resources and information will find them in one place.

You can out more about why health literacy matters in this blog from NHS England’s Person Centred Care Team.

Watch Stoke-on-Trent City Council's introductory and informative films on health literacy, tailored for patients and health professionals on their website

The Health Literacy Curated Collection contains a number of resources aimed at helping everyone who has an interest in health literacy, gathering together all the resources you might need in one place. 

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