Making it easy – understanding the health and care system: progress report

Progress report on the 'Making it easy' action plan, which aims to help people deal with the complex demands of the health and care system.

Key connections

The Health Literacy Group UK conference 2016

Scotland hosted the Health Literacy Group UK conference in March 2016. This provided a forum for sharing health literacy practice, thinking and research across the UK and internationally. With an excellent range of speakers that included Scotland's Chief Medical Officer, Catherine Calderwood, the event was an excellent opportunity to showcase our work with colleagues across the UK and promote collaboration across systems.

NHS Event Workshop

In June 2016, we held interactive workshops at the NHSScotland Event over two days, helped by the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability. This explored effective ways to improve the experience and outcomes for people with learning disabilities. As part of the session, people were asked to make pledges for actions they would take following the event. A sample of these are included:

Pledges from the NHSScotland event 2016

"give a lot more thought towards the needs of patients when speaking with them on the ward. Simplify it"

"consider the use of pictures and symbols more when using written communication with clients."

"consider the individuals and ensure I communicate clearly and take time to listen."

"write in simple language and use graphics more in any health information I produce. Make use of graphics and increased font size in information I produce."

Links to Self Directed Support

Through an event in November 2016 and working with policy and practice colleagues, we developed a leaflet to help anyone who wishes to discuss funding support for their social care. We shared examples and tools to aid conversations that explain people's choices.

It is available here.

International links

We considered how the Ophelia approach - developed by Deakin University in Melbourne - and the Health Literacy Questionnaire could best inform our work across Scotland. This followed on from a workshop with community representatives from Letham in Angus. Testing the Ophelia approach helped shape our ideas to consider a "health literacy by design" approach for the next phase of our work.

Map of International Links

Through collaborations, events, exchanges of ideas and partnership working, we have spread the messages of Making it Easy across the world. This map shows some of the places we have connected with globally.

Map of International Links


Email: Blythe Robertson,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Back to top