PIF member Health Education England has launched a new drive to improve people’s access to healthcare through better understanding of written and digital information.

The National NHS Knowledge and Library Services team is co-leading a partnership to improve health and digital literacy at local level.

Working with CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), the initiative aims to empower patients, their families and carers.

Sue Lacey Bryant, HEE National Lead for NHS Knowledge and Library Services, said: “Our goal is to understand the most effective ways to enable people to develop the skills they need to find, assess and use health information to make informed choices in our digital age.

“We can then share and spread these approaches across the country, giving people the opportunity to understand health information better and manage their own health issues.”

Tackling health inequalities

Local pilot partnerships will assess how existing information services can embed activities which equip members of the public with the skills they need.

Health Education England has funded an initial eight pilot projects to test out different ways in which this can be achieved.

Sue said: “If we are to tackle health inequalities, it’s crucial that communities come together to improve levels of health and digital literacy. 

"There are no organisations better placed to do this than local public and health libraries right in the heart of the communities they know and understand."

“I’m thrilled that we are able to support these eight local projects."

Libraries Connected and Arts Council England are working with HEE and CILIP to develop a sustainable approach to improving health literacy.

Click here for more information on the pilot projects.