Appeal for help in making NHS information literature easier to understand

Readers are being called to help ensure hospital information leaflets are understandable and well presented.

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The readers’ panel run by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is made up of volunteers who read through patient information leaflets created by departments and services before they are published.

They can check for accuracy, readability and proofread each of the leaflets to ensure they are successful in getting the message across and are easy for members of the public to understand.

The Trust is an accredited member of the NHS England’s Information Standard scheme.  The Information Standard is a certification programme for all organisations producing evidence-based health and care information for the public. Any organisation achieving the Information Standard has undergone a rigorous assessment to check that the information they produce is clear, accurate, balanced, evidence-based and up-to-date.

Volunteers are being recruited to join the panel and help to develop the Trust’s range of information leaflets and to maintain the standard of information available.

Patient Experience Manager, Sharon Kidd, said “Information leaflets are on offer for patients in clinics and on wards, covering a variety of topics.

“These cover subjects ranging from cataract surgery, infection prevention and how to reduce your risk of developing a blood clot, to information booklets on our individual wards and departments and what to bring with you when coming into hospital,” she said.

“Clinical staff write the leaflets but the readers’ panel then looks at the drafts to ensure they are understandable and accessible.”

Members of the panel are sent the leaflets by email or post to their homes and asked to make comments on them. These comments are then taken into account when the final leaflets are produced.

Members of the panel will be sent on average one leaflet a month to read and comment upon and are given 14 days to check through them.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the readers’ panel should send their name, address, daytime telephone number and e-mail address to: Patient Experience Department, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Grantham and District Hospital, 101 Manthorpe Road, Grantham, NG31 8DG

Or the details can be sent by email to patient.information@ulh.nhs.uk