Health Literacy

The CEC has developed a Health Literacy Framework as a guide to action. There are four priorities outlined in the framework. The priorities aim to create sustainable system level change, and improve safety and quality of care.

Enabling patients, families and carers to understand and manage their health is a key way to improve their quality of life and reduce the impact of disease. Identifying and removing barriers for them to become active partners in their health care is vital.

NSW Health Literacy Framework 2019-2024
NSW Health Literacy Framework

A Guide to Action


Health Literacy Domains

The Australian Commission Safety & Quality in Health Care recognises three broad domains of health literacy:

Literacy  The ability to understand and use various kinds of information such as books, information sheets, newspapers, magazines and brochures. It also includes the knowledge and skills required to locate and use information including tables and charts.
Numeracy  The knowledge and skills required to manage and respond to situations using numbers, such as medication management.
Wayfinding  The ability to understand and use information to find your way through the health system, such as navigating your way through a hospital.

Health Literacy Resources

The following resources give useful information to help improve health literacy.

Local Health District Examples

The links below profile the experiences, tools and resources of various Local Health Districts (LHDs) in improving health literacy. They are available as reference materials for NSW Health facilities. All intellectual property remains that of the LHD or facility. If you would like to use, adapt or modify them, please contact the LHD or facility.