Making it Easy

A health Literacy Action Plan for Scotland

Achieving our ambition... shifting the focus

The traditional approach to helping us understand health and healthcare, is to provide us with high quality information. Scotland has many great examples of quality education and innovative information resources, such as NHS Inform.

Those of us who are healthcare providers need to go further and adapt services to meet everyone's health literacy needs. As users of services, we need the people providing those services to routinely ensure that we understand and have been understood. This approach locates the task of dealing with the 'problem' of health literacy, not just with those of us who have difficulty understanding and using services, but also with those of us who are delivering them.

In Scotland our challenge is to those providing services to make things easier, by more engaging and effective communication.

An analogy

Thirty years ago IBM developed the first home computer. Most people, other than the very intrepid, were reluctant to learn how to use them. The IT industry could have provided us all with more information and education to increase our 'computer literacy'. Instead they set about making computers simpler and more engaging to use. Now 5 and 85 year olds can do complex tasks on a tablet computer. This approach of simplifying the computer 'interface' has dramatically reduced the barriers to using computers, opening them up to almost everyone.


Email: Graham Kramer

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