The framework has been used to create an option grid for people deciding whether to have a joint replacement. The aim is to create decision support resources that everyone can understand.

Evidence shows between 43% and 61% of working age adults in England do not have adequate skills to enable them to understand and use health and wellbeing information.This leave millions of people excluded from making informed decisions about their health.

Rowlands, G. Protheroe, J et al British Journal of General Practice (2015;65(635):379-86)


What is health literacy?

The personal characteristics and social resources needed for individuals and communities to access, understand, appraise and use information and services to make decisions about health.
World Health Organization

What is shared decision making?

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Shared Decision Making Collaborative defines shared decision making as ‘a process in which clinicians and patients work together to select tests, treatments, management or support packages, based on clinical evidence and the patient’s informed preferences'. Shared decision making is a cornerstone of NHS England's plans for personalised care. Providing health literate information that allows people to make informed choices is a critical success factor.

It involves the provision of evidence-based information about options, outcomes and uncertainties, together with decision support counselling and a system for recording and implementing patients’ informed preferences.
NICE, Shared Decision-Making Collaborative, A Consensus Statement, September 2016

The challenge of simplifying complex information

Early results show testing has generated huge enthusiasm for providing health literate resources. However, guidance on how to use the framework is needed and people find simplifying complex information a challenge.

The trial of the framework is ongoing and expected to conclude in 2019, with a period of evaluation to follow.