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National Literacy Trust Hubs: Understanding the role of literacy in public health

“Literacy is a stronger predictor of individual’s health status than income, employment status, education level and racial or ethnic group.” (Weiss, cited in WHO, 2013)

In this paper we present the case that low literacy negatively impacts on the health of communities in the UK. The inability to access and interpret information stemming from a lack of basic skills presents individuals with a fundamental challenge to take control of their own health.  As a result, health literacy skills should be considered an integral part of any public health strategy, and it is essential that literacy skills underpin such strategies. Improving health literacy will empower communities, reduce health inequalities, and reduce pressure on our public services.

This paper examines the National Literacy Trust Hubs, our own local area approach to embedding literacy support within communities and exemplifies how the National Literacy Trust is working on a shared public health agenda in conjunction with Middlesbrough Council, the James Cook Hospital, and a numerous other partners.

For more information about the National Literacy Trust Hubs, click here.

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The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.