We are a special interest group of the Society for Academic Primary Care who are interested in building the evidence base for Health Literacy. Our approach explores the impact of Health Literacy on people and their lives, and supports national policy to reduce inequalities.
We work together to discuss and develop new research ideas, run research projects, write reports and research papers, and support implementation of research findings into practice. There are also regular face-to-face meetings, discussions of ideas and collaborative work through our website. Membership is free.
We welcome patients and patient groups, health care practitioners and providers, teachers, policy makers, non-government organisations, and academics.
Our Chair (Dr Jo Protheroe) and our Policy Lead (Prof Gill Rowlands) appointed as Honorary Health Literacy Clinical Advisors
Dr Jo Protheroe, GP and Senior Lecturer at the Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele University, and Prof Gill Rowlands, GP and Professor of General Practice, Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University have been appointed as advocates for Health Literacy for NHS England, a role which aims to help raise the awareness and importance of Health Literacy in England.
Health literacy is ‘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’.
Studies have shown that at present, health information is written at too complex a level, with 43-61% of the population of adults in England being unable to understand health information that is presented to them. This inability for a patient to understand the information presented to them can have a serious impact on the patient’s life both in general, but for their health and wellbeing in particular.
NHS England recognises the urgency of improving health literacy and have taken a number of short-term actions. This included the appointment of General Practitioners (GPs) to act as Honorary Health Literacy Clinical Advisors, providing clinical insight for policy makers in the Person Centred Care Team and Self-Care Support Programme. As advisors, Jo and Gill will work alongside Clinicians and Clinical Commissioning Groups sharing their clinical expertise and experience to the Health Literacy programmes in NHS England as well as collaborative groups, such as the Health Literacy Collaborative. They will also make use of their professional connections, such as the Royal Colleges, to highlight NHS England initiatives and the importance of Health Literacy practice. They will liaise with the HLCG to identify research priorities to submit to the National Institute of Health Research, in partnership with the RCGP and support the clinical aspects of the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs).
 G. Rowlands, J. Protheroe, J. Winkley, M. Richardson, P. T. Seed, and R. Rudd, "A mismatch between population health literacy and the complexity of health information: an observational study," Br. J. Gen. Pract, vol. 65, pp. e379-e386, 6/2015 2015.
Health Literacy, Shared Decision Making and Approaches to Effective Policies
Thursday 8th June 2017, 10.30-15.00pm
Health Literacy UK are delighted to invite you to our next seminar, which will focus on the intricate link between shared decision making and health literacy. The seminar will comprise presentation of research, including ethnographic studies on shared decision making, as well as person-centred care policy with professional bodies. There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion and for sharing insights into practice.
Confirmed speakers include:
Prof Gill Rowlands, Newcastle University
Prof Richard Thomson, Newcastle University
Ella Jackson, NHS England
Dr Christina Dietscher, Austrian Ministry of Health
The event will be chaired by Dr Alf Collins, NHS England
Who might attend?
Anyone with an interest in health literacy, shared decision making and policy.
Health practitioners, educators, researchers and those involved in health policy development are particularly encouraged to take part.
Delegate fee: £50, including lunch and refreshments
What do you think of our resources?
The resource library is proving very popular, with over 2,300 hits in the 8 months. We want to keep improving it, and have designed a 5-minute survey to get your thoughts. In return for completion, we are offering a 10% discount to one of our seminars in the next year. Thanks for your help.
Here's the survey:
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