Health literacy is about people having enough knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence to use health information, to be active partners in their care, and to navigate health and social care systems. Health Literacy is being increasingly recognised as a significant public health concern around the world.

Introduction to health literacy

Health Literacy in Scotland: Making it Easy

Why must we make it easy? It has been found that people remember and understand less than half of the information that we discuss with them, also you can’t tell who has understood by simply looking at them. Improving people’s understanding is crucial for improving patient safety, communication, effectiveness, self management and health literacy. The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 states that people should be communicated with in a way that they can understand and that healthcare staff should make sure the patient has understood the information given.

Featured resource: Health literacy leaflet for health and social care

This leaflet produced by NHS Education for Scotland informs health and social care staff about their role in promoting health literacy.

Read leaflet

Featured resource: Health Care Support Worker resource - health literacy and finding information

This resource has been created by NHS Education for Scotland specifically for staff working in a Health Care Support Worker role.

Read leaflet


Health literacy training dates until end of March 2017

Read more

Headline report 2: Demonstrator project - attending hospital appointments

Read more

Headline report 3: Demonstrator project - Meaningful communication before medical appointments

Read more

Featured blogs

Health Literacy and House of Care

Read blog

Self Management Support

Read blog

More to explore

All case studies

Here you will find case studies from UK and abroad relating to health literacy sensitive practice. You can contact us via the Get Involved page to add your own case studies to the site.

Read more

Tools for Practice

Here you will find a range of tools and techniques to inform your health literacy sensitive practice and support you in communicating health information to patients.

Read more

Health literacy in Scotland

This section of the website gives an overview of health literacy activity in Scotland and links to other relevant website sections.

Training/awareness materials

Here you will find a range of materials available to support you in raising awareness of health literacy with colleagues and peers.

Read more

People Connect

Please use this link to visit The Knowledge Network People Connect website. This site helps you to make connections with people, exchange information and share knowledge. Add health literacy as a subject interest to your profile to link with others who have the same interest and to join relevant discussions and receive relevant information about activities.