New hub to boost health literacy

 Health symposium

WSLHD board member Professor Don Nutbeam was the MC at a recent health literacy symposium.


Our organisation offers thousands of services, which is why we want to make sure our community knows exactly what’s available to support them.

To achieve this, Western Sydney Local Health District and the University of Sydney has developed a Health Literacy Hub.

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to understand basic health information and services, to make appropriate health decisions.

The Hub will provide an online platform filled with information and advice. It will be available in early 2018.

Events such as seminars, workshops and consultations will also be held.

Project manager Dana Mouwad said the new hub will help us test the way we communicate so we are successfully reaching the culturally diverse demographic of western Sydney.

“We’re working with the University of Sydney’s Health Literacy Lab with academics who are leading internationally significant research,” said Dana.

“Health literacy is a key priority area for our District.

“Our new hub will help ensure our community has better access to information about their health and health services, improve communication with health care providers and more.”

The new Hub will take into consideration a range of information obtained at a recent Health Literacy Symposium at Westmead Hospital on 6 December.

The symposium was attended by representatives from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC), NSW Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) and all levels of staff from across primary and secondary care and service settings.

Dana said the symposium aims to build a better picture of health literacy activities.

“The event helped clarify how the health literacy hub could best add value to existing activities in western Sydney,” said Dana.

“Our university colleagues also keenly shared current health literacy research – what has been working, what’s promising and what should we stop doing.”

“Participants strongly advocated a clear need for capacity building and skill development amongst staff.”

“Academics were encouraged by the degree of interest in research, noting that many health literacy projects could benefit from interacting with the hub so as investment could be made in strengthening evaluation of current work and identifying ongoing future collaborative opportunities.”

The Health Literacy team will continue to progress the establishment of the Health Literacy Hub developing priorities and preferred ways of working based on the Symposium and other consultations.