In response to a number of complaints received by the Trust relating to clinical to patient communication, UHMBT Library and Knowledge Services (LKS) took part in the Health Literacy Awareness (HLA) trainer sessions provided by HEE. This was in preparation to roll out health literacy sessions for UHMBT staff groups. As the Postgraduate Education Team had teaching programme for the Foundation Year 1 (FY1) doctors, UHMBT LKS was able to deliver HLA as part of this programme. The aim was to deliver sessions to as many staff groups as possible across the Trust.

The Project:

Following a break in 2020, the HLA session was expanded to another session on patient information; including exercises on “Teach Back” and “Chunk and Check”). The FY1 session was reviewed and tailored to include less clinical scenarios and examples, with two ‘drop-in sessions’ being run during Health Information Week 2022. These sessions were open to all UHMBT staff and were promoted by the Strategic Lead for Inclusion & Engagement and the Patient Experience Teams. The sessions were adapted so that they could be presented via 365 Teams; adaptations included the use of “Google Jam Board” in the place of the discussion and activities to better ensure trainee participation.

Whilst working with the Patient Experience Team, the LKS was put in contact with a number of individuals within the Trust who could assist in marketing the health literacy and patient information sessions to staff groups and students. As a result, the LKS was able to market and deliver sessions to groups of newly qualified nurses as part of their preceptorship programme, the newly recruited international nurses and to nursing students who are on placement at the Trust. The aim is for the LKS to be involved in these induction programmes for these staff groups on a regular basis mirroring the long-term involvement of the LKS with the FY1 teaching programme.

The sessions for the new international recruits were different to other sessions as it was more difficult to engage the attendees in offering their thoughts and ideas. As a result, after the initial HLA session, but before the second session on patient information, this session was altered to include Slido – a site that allows attendees to add their thoughts about a topic using their mobile phones.

Impact on the LKS:

The number of sessions delivered by the LKS and the number of attendees doubled from 2021-22 in 2022-23. The figures for 2023/24 have already surpassed the previous year as a result of collaborating with the Patient Experience Team.

Year Sessions Attendees

Being involved with induction days and working with other teams on HLA has enabled the LKS to be more visible to different staff groups and students. This enables the LKS to highlight to services users, or potential service users, the services provided that are beyond that of what they perceive a library to be, i.e., ‘just books.’ The impact on the LKS is that we have more users engaging with the LKS via requesting information (articles/evidence searches).

Immediate Impact on attendees/service users:

Attendees are asked as part of the feedback process to highlight which parts of the sessions they individually found useful. Most of the immediate impact is a new awareness around health literacy and the Trust patient information leaflet process.

“Examples of real-life issues highlighted the issues with health literacy.”
“The opportunities to reflect on our own practice – patients often either have lots of questions or feel too nervous to ask.”
“The games are interesting; it helps us understand the perspective from a patient’s point of view.”
“Patient leaflets as I didn’t know it existed!”
“Patient Information Leaflets Process as this will solve some problems for me.”

Probable future Impact:

Feedback from the attendees suggests their new awareness of health literacy, patient information and communication will change their practice.

“I will think harder when explaining - whether my words are jargon."
“I will summarise information - let the patient ask questions.”
“I will not assume people have understood.”
“Explain information in layman’s terms.”

Lesson Learnt:

• Feedback - it is better to ask attendees for something more specific; for instance, naming one thing they found useful etc.
• Don’t be afraid to make changes whilst the sessions are taking place!
• If attendees are not engaging, try different tactics such as Slido, the Feedback Game or asking individuals to offer their views.
• Rebranding HLA as ‘Helping Patients to understand our Jargon’

Next Steps:

• Continue to deliver sessions to the FY1 doctors
• Continue to deliver sessions to the newly registered nurses
• Continue to deliver sessions to the newly recruited international nurses
• Working with the Practice Educators and the Universities to market the sessions for student nurses

Kerry Booth
Assistant Librarian Library and Knowledge Services
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust