Literacy is defined in Scotland as:
“the ability to read and write and use numeracy, to handle information, to express ideas and opinions, to make decisions and solve problems, as family members, workers, citizens and lifelong learners”.
Literacy issues are linked to socio-economic and social class inequality. This can be due to poor experiences at school and lack of opportunity or other barriers early in life. Other groups such as asylum seekers or refugees may have additional needs in relation to literacy.
The way the health service produces information and the way practitioners communicate with their patients needs to take literacy issues into account. Otherwise this might impact on people’s health by-
Reducing access to health services or limiting people’s health choices
Leading to poorer health by not giving appropriate information on screening, prevention, medication or treatment
The Big Plus 0808 100 1080 will transfer or signpost callers to help with reading writing or numbers in their local authority areas.