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Health Literacy



Chair: Siobhan Linsey

Vice Chair North: Lorna Dawson

Vice Chair South: Lynsey Southern

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What is the Health Literacy Community of Practice?

Knowledge and Library Services (KLS) in the healthcare sector know how crucial good Health Literacy skills are for underpinning patient decision-making and co-creation of care. These skills enable the public (inclusive of all gender, cultural and intellectual backgrounds and abilities) to access and process information in a way which allows them to take ownership of their long-term health and wellbeing.

Previous Health Literacy communities of practice in the north and south successfully allowed for the sharing of knowledge and abilities amongst KLS colleagues to support skills training for staff and students, and subsequently outwards to the public and health information colleagues in other sectors. We are building on this by launching one national cohesive community of practice.  

Health literacy is 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”

This group is here to support the work of NHS Library services in training healthcare staff, patients  and the public in health literacy through:

  • sharing resources
  • sharing best practice
  • support for training
  • platform to discuss ideas

Health Literacy and Schools

Are you working with young people and schools? There are dedicated pages with resources, evidence and support for developing work in educational settings. 

Please visit the Health Literacy Schools Toolkit 

Share your best practice




Accessible and easy read resources

Useful Links

An E-learning introduction to health literacy, is available to anyone who wants to know:

  • Why health literacy is important
  • Some core techniques that can be used to improve health literacy.

The E-learning was developed in partnership between HEE and NES to raise awareness of health literacy and its impact on health and social care staff.

Anyone can do the health literacy E-learning; you just need an email address.

Please click on the link below

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