Health Literacy UK (HL-UK) aims to provide a clear voice, and a strong presence, for Health Literacy in the complex and ever-changing health and social care environment. We offer a point of reference and contract for those interested in learning more about health literacy. 

In doing so, it is necessary for us to collect relevant personal data from our website visitors, members, authors, speakers and attendees of our seminars and conferences. 

We only use your personal data such as your name and contact details, areas of interest and any payment details, in our legitimate business of administering the services you buy from us: seminars and conferences. 

How we collect information 

Information is collected via the Health Literacy UK website and occasionally via email or Survey Monkey questionnaires. We ask for contact information including your name and email address so that we can reply to your inquiry. Additional information such as institution and areas of interest may also be collected if you become a member and if you register to attend the seminars or conferences we also ask for a phone number, job title, and billing address. 

To review and update the personal data you have supplied us with, please login into your HL-UK account at 

If you have any questions about your personal information relating to this Privacy Policy, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, please contact us by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Our website does not use cookies or scripts that were designed to track the websites you visit. 

What information we hold 

  • When you contact us by email or through our website, we collect your name, email address, phone number, a social media username, and the institution or organisation your work for, if you've given us that;
  • When you register for the seminars or conferences we collect your name, job title, organisation, email address, phone number, and an invoice address; 
  • If you do business with us, we also collect your organisation name and bank detail and keep records of invoices we send you and the payments you make; 
  • All purchases via the website are processed by Keele University WPM system and e-store and we never have access to your credit card information. 

Where we store your information

When you contact us by email or through our website, we store your information in our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. When you buy something, your information is stored in University WPM, our e-commerce platform, and if we do business, we store your information in Excel and Word on an individual computer. We chose these systems partly for their commitment to security. 

What we use your information for 

We'll never use your personal information for any reason other than why you gave it, and we'll never give anyone access to it unless we're enforced by law. 

We do not sell your data to any third parties. In order to provide our services to you (e.g. administer our seminars and conferences) we may be required to send your personal data to our trusted third-party processors (see below). 

We use your email address to send you newsflashes (if you are a member) and conference updates (if you have registered to attend the conference). We will use your information to send you invoices, statements or reminders. 

Third party processors 

Web designer 

Companies that provide email services to members e.g. for our newsletter (the unsubscribe function is also available within the body of the newsletter you receive). 

Questionnaire services companies online. HL-UK does not share your email addresses or data but you may be asked to give some information for the purposes of the questionnaire. Individuals' information is not shared. 

Print companies (for delegate name bages and participant lists - excluding email addresses). 

If you would like to know more about the individual suppliers, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Who is responsible for your information at HL-UK 

Health Literacy UK (HL-UK) is a not-for-profit membership organisation run by an Executive Committee and Secretariat. 

Contact details: 

Post: HL_UK c/o Sue Weir, Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG 

Tel:  +44 (0)1782 733922 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Sue Weir, HL-UK Office, and Conference Manager has access to your information. 

Changes to your policy 

If we change the contents of this policy, those changes will become effective the moment we publish them on our website. 

This policy was published in May 2018. 


What is health literacy and why is it important?

Health literacy can be defined as 'the personal characteristics and social resources needed for individuals and communities to access, understand, appraise and use information and services to make decisions about health.'(WHO, 2015)

How big a problem is health literacy in England?

We know that levels of functional health literacy are low in England. Health information in current circulation is written at too complex a level for 43% of working age adults (16-65 years); this figure rises to 61% if the health information includes numeracy. We do not know how many people are additionally burdened by low interactive and critical health literacy skills but numbers are likely to be even higher. 

We also know that low health literacy has real effects on health and illness. In England, older people with low health literacy have higher mortality. Research from the US and Europe shows people with low health literacy are more likely to have a long-term health condition and this is more likely to limit their activities. People with low health literacy rate their health as lower than people with higher health literacy levels; people with low health literacy and lower educational levels are more likely to have unhealthy lifestyles. 

Health literacy is a social determinant of health and is strongly linked with other social determinants such as poverty, unemployment and membership of a minority ethnic group. Where health literacy differs from these other social factors is that it is, potentially, open to change through improving health systems and building patient and public awareness and skills. 

Our current list of stakeholders is:

  • Primary and Community Health Trusts
  • Hospital Trusts
  • Government Departments (Health and Education)
  • The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education
  • Health academics
  • Educational academics
  • Non-government organisations
  • Citizens Advice Bureaux
  • Health care practitioners
  • Service users
  • Local authorities