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Lots of people struggle with low health literacy. In Derbyshire, approximately 6 out of 10 people have low health literacy and numeracy.



6 out of 10 people in Derbyshire have low health literacy.

This means they will find it difficult to understand everyday health information.
Having low health literacy is linked to:

  •  Unhealthy lifestyles and behaviours
  •  Making mistakes when taking medication
  • Poorer self-care
  • More emergency hospital admissions
  • Having a higher chance of an early death

Anyone can struggle with poor health literacy at any time, but particularly when in stressful and anxious situations. However, low health literacy is more common in some groups including:

  • Those with long term conditions
  • Older people
  • Those in low socioeconomic groups
  • Those with disabilities
  • Those from ethnic minority backgrounds.

This means that low health literacy can directly contribute to increasing health inequalities. This is why, across Derby and Derbyshire, we have committed to making our services health literacy friendly.


Our aims

  • Increase staff awareness of the impacts of lower levels of health literacy.
  • Make sure all staff have received Quality Conversations training. Quality conversations » Joined Up Care Derbyshire.
  • Make sure all staff use everyday language when speaking to the people who use our services.
  • Ensure that new written information we produce matches the health literacy levels of our population and has been user tested.
  • Work with service users to create health literacy friendly settings.

Please get in touch to find out more about becoming a Health Literate Organisation by emailing 

Last Updated: Friday 10th May 2024 - 3:29:pm

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