Person-centred care: advice for non-executive board members

Resource booklet for NHSScotland non-executive board members with an interest in person-centred care.

Health Literacy

Which of the five ‘Must Do With Me’ principles does this relate to? 

1. What matters to you?
3. What information do you need?
4. Nothing about me without me

Meeting people’s health literacy needs and communicating in meaningful ways is key to delivering person-centred care. It also improves the safety and effectiveness of care, and helps address health inequalities.

Cover Example

The case for action on health literacy was set out in the Making it Easy – A Health Literacy Action Plan for Scotland. The Plan, published in 2014, set out our ambition for Scotland to be a health literate society that enables all of us to have the confidence, knowledge, understanding and skills to cope with the complex demands of modern healthcare, and to maintain good health. In December 2016, the Scotttish Government committed to refreshing the Health Literacy Plan.

Cover Example

Making it Easier – Scotland’s Health Literacy Action Plan was launched in November 2017 to international acclaim. It builds on what we’ve learned so far about health literacy and sets out plans to:

  • share the learning from Making it Easy across Scotland;
  • embed ways to improve health literacy in policy and practice;
  • develop more health literacy responsive organisations and communities; and
  • design supports and services to better meet people’s health literacy levels.

Improving our health literacy – so that we all have the skills, confidence, knowledge and understanding to navigate complex healthcare systems and to be meaningfully involved in decisions about our care, is a cornerstone of Realistic Medicine’s drive to better support people’s needs through shared decision-making.

The Health Literacy Place

The Health Literacy Place is the main source of health literacy information and resources in Scotland. Launched in 2014, the website provides access to a range of health literacy tools and techniques to help practitioners make sure that good conversations can take place with those they are caring for and supporting.

The website contains information to encourage professionals to use approaches that have been successful in other areas in Scotland and support them to practice person-centred care.

Some examples of good practice and techniques we share are:

The Dundee demonstrator – which undertook walkthroughs with a range of people to see what their journey was like from the front door to the clinic location and came up with solutions to make it easier to navigate.

Teachback – a method for practitioners to use to check that they have communicated information effectively and that messages they have provided are being understood and taken away.

Chunk and Check – requires practitioners to break down information into smaller chunks throughout consultations and check for understanding along the way, rather than providing all the information that is to be remembered at the end of the session.

What Matters To You? – supports staff to focus on what’s important to the people they are caring for and supporting.  



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