Language matters (even at Christmas)

Ah Christmas… a time for hanging an obligate hemiparasitic plant while listening to a festive ditty about a Rangifer tarandus species member with a crimson-tinged facial protrusion.

Umm… confused?

Perhaps it would help if we told you that mistletoe is an ‘obligate hemiparastic plant’ as it relies on other plants for some of it’s food. Plus it might help to know that the latin name for reindeer is Rangifer tarandus.

The point: language matters. And – here’s the seamless link – in health it really matters.

More than half of people in the UK don’t understand the health information that’s provided to them.

That’s crazy.

Is it because people are stupid? Of course not. It’s because we too often forget that the language of health is as alien to many as the phrase ‘obligate hemiparastic plant’ (Not convinced? Check out our video.)

And medicalese is rife, even in patient materials.

So as 2017 draws to a close – and some of you might even be hanging the misteltoe while listening to Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer – we’d invite you to think about how you’re ensuring that your patient information, support and services in 2018 are accessible to all.

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