Health Literacy Key to Reduce Demand on the NHS says Self Care Forum co-chair

Dr Selwyn Hodge supports the recommendation made in a White Paper by the consumer healthcare association, PAGB calling for self care techniques to be core components of the health education curricula in England. Dr Hodge, a former teacher, Deputy Headmaster and campaigner for greater health literacy to be taught in schools said “the renewed focus on prevention and helping people to stay healthy, outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan should start to transform services and ensure they are fit for the future.  However, health literacy is key to reduce unnecessary demand on the NHS by empowering people with the information they need to self care appropriately.  We believe that the opportunity to ensure the youngest members of our society receive that information at school is a missed opportunity and urge the Government to look again at its draft guidance.”

The Guidance,the Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education Draft Statutory Guidance, was published in February 2019 after a short consultation.  The Self Care Forum submitted a response with recommendations that would mean children are given the knowledge and life-skills about their physical health and mental wellbeing they need to take them through life, as well as an understanding of how the NHS works and how it should be accessed.   Disappointingly, these recommendations were not included and the Guidance falls short of ensuring compulsory, standardised comprehensive health education is part of the school curriculum in England, indeed it is a missed opportunity.

If you would like to know more about the recommendations put forward by the Self Care Forum please email.

PAGB’s White Paper can be found here.