School of Pharmacy to launch a 'health literacy' training programme

11 Nov 2014

The country's first health literacy training programme for health­care professionals will be intro­duced in University College Cork this January.

This follows the establishment of a new partnership between the University, the National Adult Lit­eracy Agency (NALA) and health­care company MSD which has one of its five Irish manufacturing sites in Cork.

Health literacy is defined as the degree to which people can obtain, process and understand basic health information and services to make  appropriate health deci­sions.

This new programme was devel­oped with input from the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) and the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ire­ land (NMBI).

Dr Laura Sahm, Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy, UCC said: "Li­mited health literacy is a signifi­cant and growing issue in Ireland and one which we know can have drastic consequences for patients. This new module is an exciting development which we hope will bring Ireland closer to its Euro­pean peers in tackling levels of li­mited health literacy, an issue which can be readily improved by making it a priority in the edu­cation of all health professionals."

General Manager of MSD 's Brinny site, Matt Corcoran added: "We are committed to helping pa­tients understand why they have been prescribed medicine and how they need to take it, and it is our hope that this new module will en­able healthcare professionals to help patients better understand health information and ultimately improve health outcomes."

The Health Literacy for Health and Social Care Settings (MH5001) module is open for registration and the first 20 applications will receive a bursary from MSD of €150 towards the overall fee.

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