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Ever heard of the Plain English campaign?

VOICES plain english
By Mandy Jago, Staff Wellbeing Manager/Organisational Development Consultant, NHS Combined Healthcare and VOICES volunteer   Ever heard of the Plain English campaign? Chrissie Maher started the Plain English Campaign in 1979, to campaign against jargon and misleading public information. She believes that everyone should have access to clear and easily understandable information.   Let’s think about medical information…. Here’s an example of what the Plain English Campaign would call gobbledygook: ‘The criteria are embedded within an indication of needs matrix, encompassing the continuum of care needs. The criteria for fully funded NHS care (levels 5-6) are designed to take account of the needs of those only at the most complex end of the continuum. The vast majority of those in receipt of care from health and social care services are provided from a range of mainstream services, which are available to all according to their need, or packages of support provided jointly by health and social care working in partnership (levels 1-4).” (From a letter to a patient from an NHS Trust)  Clear? Easy to understand?  Hardly.   So why does that matter? Around 15 per cent of adults in England have literacy levels at or below those expected of an 11-year-old.  This means that they can understand short straightforward texts on… Continue Reading

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