Improving health literacy will empower communities, reduce health inequalities, and reduce pressure on our public services. In this paper we present the case that low literacy negatively impacts on the health of communities in the UK.
The inability to
access and interpret information stemming from a lack of basic skills
presents individuals with a fundamental challenge to take control of their
own health. As a result, health literacy skills should be considered an
integral part of any public health strategy, and it is essential that
literacy skills underpin such strategies.
This paper examines
the National Literacy Trust Hubs, our own local area approach to embedding
literacy support within communities and exemplifies how we are working on a shared public health agenda in conjunction with
Middlesbrough Council, the James Cook Hospital, and a numerous other