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Health literacy training

28th March 2019

ICPs are working to implement the “Making Every Contact” initiative within Primary Care.

“Making Every Contact Count” (MECC) is an approach to behaviour change that uses the thousands of day-to-day interactions that health and social care workers have with clients to support them in making positive changes to their health and wellbeing.

Health literacy is an important aspect of MECC and is about people having the knowledge, skills, understanding and confidence they need to make decisions about their health.

The Health and Social Care Board has contracted with Belfast Healthy Cities (who are partnering with the Community Development Health Network)  to offer free Health Literacy training.

Aimed at those working in primary care across a range of sectors and organisations, the health literacy training will help attendees to understand what health literacy is and the impact it can have and to apply their learning to allow them be more effective in their work with patients, carers, service users, citizens and communities.

It has been found that around 50 per cent of people in Europe suffer from low health literacy, meaning they have difficulty accessing, understanding and judging health information and, as a result, experience poor health outcomes.

For those working in health and social care it can be difficult even when working face-to-face with clients and patients to know whether their information is being communicated and understood effectively. This can be even more difficult when providing communication in written format, such as online, or over the telephone.

As well as spoken information there’s a wide range of written information provided to people about their health and wellbeing such as information leaflets, forms, letters, results and medication instructions so it is important to ensure that the content and format is appropriate and understandable.

A total of 17 training sessions, running until April, are being held in each of the ICP areas. The sessions will include a 5-hour workshop and three hours of self-study, with training facilitated by experienced trainers with expertise in health literacy.

Belfast ICP

Monday 29 April  –Riddell Hall, Queen’s University
Wednesday 22 May –NICVA

Southern ICP

Tuesday 2 April – Armagh City Hotel, Armagh

South Eastern ICP

Thursday 4 April – Sketrick House, Newtownards BT23 4YH
Thursday 11 April-  St Patrick’s Centre, Downpatrick, BT30 6LZ

Northern ICP

Thursday 18 April – Mossley Mill, Newtownabbey BT36 5QA
Wednesday 15 May  – Portballintrae Village Hall, Bushmills BT57 8US
Tuesday 21 May  – Mid Ulster Council HQ, Magherafelt BT45 6E

Western ICP

Wednesday 17 April – Tara Centre, Omagh

For more information or to book a place on the course contact