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Mike Oliver was one of the first people I established links with when I began working on a health literacy approach in Derbyshire in 2019. Mike, who then worked for Public Health within Stoke on Trent City Council, was able to provide a wealth of information on how their city-wide approach to health literacy had developed over 10 years. This strategic support very much informed our approach here in Derbyshire, focusing on the importance of training the workforce in health literacy awareness and then supporting people to turn this training into action. His sharing of knowledge, practical resources and advice/support along the way has been greatly valued.

In 2021, Mike (who had, by then, set up his own business) was commissioned by our Public Health department to deliver 12 virtual health literacy awareness sessions over 12 months. These sessions were completed by 318 people from across the wider public health workforce. Participants were highly satisfied with the sessions, particularly with the opportunity to interact:

Mike worked flexibly with us to ensure the training was Derbyshire-focused by showcasing health literacy in action locally. And he was happy to adapt the training in response to participant feedback (e.g. adding in more teach back examples).

Our Integrated Care System has recently commissioned Mike to deliver 5 further health literacy awareness sessions. These very much support the work of our health literacy officer who works alongside teams to embed health literate practice.

We have also had the opportunity to signpost people to the health literate organisation workshops which Mike has been commissioned to deliver for Health Education England in the Midlands.

Jane Hawley
Healthcare Public Health Practitioner – Leading on Health Literacy
Derbyshire County Council

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