To mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) the Patient Information Forum (PIF) has published an open letter calling on all health organisations to be health and digital literacy friendly.

The letter, sent to The BMJ, the HSJ, The Guardian and the BBC, has been signed by leading health charities, NHS Trusts, academics and health literacy advocates.

Signatories include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Anthony Nolan and Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The letter calls for all health organisations to embed health and digital literacy by:

  • Using clear communication
  • Creating easy-to-use digital tools/websites, printed information and premises
  • Involving users in the development of information as routine and inviting feedback
  • Training staff in health literacy
  • Considering digital exclusion and the equalities impact when introducing new resources.

The full letter can be downloaded from our Health and Digital Literacy Charter page.

PIF Chair Sue Farrington said: “If we are serious about tackling the health inequalities revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic, then it is important for all organisations producing health information to become health and digital literacy friendly. 

"Trustworthy, accessible health information is key to protecting both personal and collective health.  

"Working together we will ensure it is a cornerstone of patient and citizen participation in their healthcare and self-management.” 

Making information accessible is a key part of the PIF TICK criteria – the UK-wide quality mark for health information.