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Health Literacy Report

Posted on 04/02/2016

Health Literacy report

Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire has published a report about their recent pilot health literacy programme, which was run for Health Practice Champions at Brough Surgery during September and October 2015. The report explores the definitions and component skills of health literacy, examines its importance as a key determinant of good health and details the programme’s objectives, content and lessons learned.

Participant’s feedback was positive and it is hoped that the complete training programme will be run with Information Champions at other GP Practices or as a combination of modules on particular health and social care themes to suit different audiences and groups in East Yorkshire. The full report can be seen below

When local Healthwatch were established by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, a new statutory function was introduced - “[To] provide information and advice to the public about accessing health and social care services and choice in relation to aspects of those services.”

At Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire (HWERY), our Information Service aims:

• To provide information as outlined above and
• To enable the public to access information on health and social care, with the aim of facilitating better, informed choices and reducing health inequalities.

We, thus, seek to actively promote digital health literacy and during September and October 2015, the Service ran a pilot series of 5 Health Literacy Workshops for Practice Health Champions and staff based at The Ridings Medical Group’s Brough Surgery.

The Workshops were designed to familiarise Champions with the necessary skills to find and use information about health and social care services. With these information skills Champions are empowered to look after their own health and to support someone who needs their care. They can also provide information and signposting to others in their community.

Champions learnt how to use the NHS Choices website in depth, including how to set up an account and how to use the Information Prescription Service.

They also used the UK Online Centres Learn My Way e-learning platform which features modules on Being Healthy using NHS Choices and On-Line GP Services. Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire’s Information Service is part of The Tinder Foundation’s UK Onlinecentres™ Network. The network is made up of 5,000 local centres, helping people make the most of technology and widening digital inclusion among the most socially excluded in the UK.


The final health literacy Workshop looked at developing the local Information resource about the services provided by the GP Practice and about wider health and social care support in the locality. Champions started to plan for the launch of their Information Booth, which they hope to launch at Brough Surgery in February 2016 and Health East Riding of Yorkshire’s Information Service will continue to support this exciting new initiative.

What is Health Literacy?

The World Health Organisation explains that:

‘Health literacy is linked to literacy and entails people’s knowledge, motivation and competences to access, understand, appraise and apply health information in order to make judgements and take decisions in everyday life concerning health care, disease prevention and health promotion to maintain or improve quality of life during the life course.’
Source:  World Health Organisation, Health Literacy: the solid facts. WHO, 2013.

Health Literacy can contribute to the reduction of health inequalities and, therefore, has benefits for both the public and service providers.

Please contact the Information Service on 01482 665684 if you would like to know more about the Health Literacy training we can provide.

Download The Health Literacy Evaluation Report

Health and Social Care Signposting Directory 2015

Healthwatch East Riding Directory

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