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Collecting our own health literacy stories: we need your help!

Health literacy is important because adults, who have low language, literacy and numeracy skills, and their children and families, suffer the worst health outcomes in society. Nationally in England, 43% of adults (16-65) do not have adequate literacy skills to routinely understand health information. 61% of adults (16-65) do not have adequate numeracy skills to routinely understand health information. As an example, the infographic below identifies how miscommunication can affect treatment. In this case, the patient’s symptoms did not improve as the inhaler had mistakenly been used on the cat. It highlights the importance of “Real Patients, Real Stories”. 

Real Patients, Real Stories

Source:  Epsom and St Helier Medicines Management

Do you have more stories? Please email the library team at:

We will be using the stories together with local health profiles of Carshalton, Epsom and Ewell to evidence the health literacy issues. We will then explore the solutions including improving verbal communication via “teach back” and “chunk and check” and written communication “using plain English” and more.  View our leaflet for more information: Health Literacy Booklet .


Real Patients, Real Stories














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Healthy Workplace Achievement Award 2016 NHS Choices