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Belfast Healthy Cities

Our vision is to be a leader in creating
a healthy, equitable and sustainable city

Healthy Cities 21st Century

Health Literacy News

Understanding Health Literacy; Impacts on Inequalities

Thursday 28 April 2016, 9.00am–1.15pm
The Mount, Woodstock Link, Belfast BT6 8DD

Health Literacy is linked to literacy levels.  Low health literacy has real effects on health and illness; people with low health literacy levels make more mistakes with medication or treatment. Health literacy is a social determinant of health. Health literacy is a catalyst for change and needed for people to understand and act upon health information.

This seminar will further examine the concept of health literacy, by sharing learning from our WHO Healthy City colleagues in Finland. It will also engage participants in co-creating solutions to health literacy issues. The seminar will include the launch of an online Health Literacy resource designed to support development of this area in Belfast.


  • Sanna Salanterä, Professor of Clinical Nursing Science, Vice Head of the Department, Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku
  • Joanne Morgan, Director, Community Development and Health Network
  • Karolina Mackiewicz, Development Manager, Baltic Region Healthy Cities Association

View seminar programme >

UK Health Literacy Conference, March 2016

Health Literacy at the Deep End: Addressing Health Inequalities

Highlights of the conference include:

  • High profile health literacy key note speakers from across the UK
  • Sharing health literacy thinking, practice and current research from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • Networking with key players in health literacy
  • Parallel sessions and workshops from across four nations

3rd European Health Literacy Conference, Brussels, November 2015

The focus of the Third European Health Literacy Conference was on the life course perspective in health literacy practice. How develops health literacy during the life course, and how does an increase of health literacy contribute to healthy ageing? The Scientific Committee invited the academics and implementation experts to share their knowledge in a wide range of areas related to health literacy.

Health Promotion Conference, Galway, June 2015

Health Literacy: Research, Policy & Practice
The conference explored the importance of health literacy and how it can be enhanced as a priority area for Health Promotion. The conference brought together policy, research and practice perspec-tives on how health literacy can be strengthened, including the implementation of health literacy in-terventions across sectors that will promote the health of the citizens of Ireland.

Health Literacy in a Healthy City: Making the Case and Taking Action, Belfast Healthy Cities, December 2014

Health Literacy is a core theme for Belfast as a member of the WHO Healthy Cities Network Phase VI (2014-2018).  Health Literacy implies achievement of a level of knowledge, personal skills, and confidence to take action to improve personal and community health by changing personal lifestyles and living conditions.  The benefits of improved health literacy are felt across society and between government, highlighted locally within the Northern Ireland Executive’s Making Life Better strategy and through a number of initiatives occurring at local and regional level.  This workshop will explore an understanding of Health Literacy within the context of Belfast, look at models of practice locally and across the UK and Ireland and agree a way forward with partners and stakeholders in Belfast.

Workshop Report

Health Literacy in a Healthy City: Making the Case and Taking Action

Workshop Presentations

Making it Easy, Health Literacy in Scotland
Christine Hoy, Primary Care Development Manager, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland

Health Literacy in Ireland
Fergus Dolan, Literacies Development Worker, National Adult Literacy Agency, Ireland

A City Approach to Health Literacy- Stoke on Trent's Journey
Judy Kurth, Safer and Healthy Communities, Public Health, City of Stoke onTrent.

Health Literacy at a Local Level
Glen McCrum, Greater Village Regeneration Trust;

Health Literacy: Taking Action
Erica Ison, WHO Expert Advisor