In October 2018 we received a responses to our Readability report from the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (BHT), Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and from Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC).
Thalia Jervis, Chief Executive at Healthwatch Bucks, said
We are really pleased that everyone has responded so positively to the Healthwatch Bucks report. Patients can only get involved if they can understand the information they get. This report will help make that happen.
In response to the Healthwatch Bucks recommendations, Nicola Lester, Director of Transformation at Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said
The report by Healthwatch Bucks is a timely and useful reminder which will help us to make sure that whenever we provide written information we consider the readability of what we produce. Across the CCG, we have asked that staff adopt the recommendations made within the Healthwatch report for all our publications. We expect staff preparing written communications apply the Flesch-Kincaid test and use it as a tool to improve the readability of their public documents. To improve readability, we will ensure that all future key documents include an easy-read summary at the beginning.
Gillian Quinton, Executive Director of Communities, Health and Adult Social Care at Bucks County Council, said
It is vital that officers writing for a public audience are able to write clearly and effectively, and as an organisation we have a responsibility to make sure that officers are supported to develop the skills needed. The Healthwatch report gives some very useful pointers and we will be creating a number of tools and information to help our officers develop these techniques. These tools will incorporate the resources you have helpfully identified
Bucks NHS Healthcare Trust said
Making sure all our patients can understand the information we give is so important. We’re thankful for this reminder from Healthwatch Bucks that medical leaflets can often be complicated, and the extra effort to ensure they can be read easily is worth it. We will be recommending that staff use the Flesch-Kincaid test to help simplify patient documents and will be offering training to our new patient information panel, which will be set up soon. We will also be developing a new template for our patient leaflets to increase their readability.