Making It Happen: Improving Basic Skills within the Health Service.Report as inadecuate

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This booklet provides an introduction for health service managers, trainers, and personnel about basic skills. It provides background information on the link between poor basic skills and poor health as well as information about the ways in which people use basic skills in their daily lives. Two reasons for health care organizations to be involved with basic skills are set forth: a person's competence with basic skills has a direct bearing on the way he or she is able to use health organizations and agencies and improving the basic skills of staff working in the health sector will have a positive effect on the efficiency of health care services. The next section discusses what health care organizations can do and describes three approaches: contracting, buying in, and integrating. Britain's Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Unit (ALBSU) Standards for basic skills are discussed. The following ways in which the ALBSU can help the housing organization are then described: advice and consultancy, development projects, staff training, and material. An appendix outlines steps to ensure that written communications are easy to understand. These elements of design are addressed: white space, leading, typeface, type size, upper and lower case, illustrations/overprinting, page layout/page breaks, and paper choice/color. These elements of readability are then discussed: sentence length and choice of words/repetition. The ALBSU Standards Maps at the end of the booklet illustrate communication skills and numeracy standards and what each element means. (YLB)

Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Basic Skills, Communication Skills, Foreign Countries, Health Services, Hospitals, Institutional Role, Nonprofit Organizations, Numeracy, Skill Development, Staff Development, Standards

Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Unit, 7th Floor, Commonwealth House, 1-19 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1NU, England, United Kingdom.

Author: Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Unit, London England.


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