Health and Wellbeing Seminar

13.20 – Thursday 6th July


The mismatch between information that people need and what we provide them with

This session will be an interactive workshop session to explore the mismatch between the information that is produced in health and care and the level at which the target audience need it to be. The session will share real life examples of the problems, share good practice and introduce tools and techniques to help drive up not only the quality but the functionality of information for the public. Whether you commission, produce or want to be able to signpost to good quality information this session will equip you with what you need to know and what’s out there to help you. Although based on experiences in health and care information this will be of relevance to anyone that relies on consumer information that people can not only understand but also act on.

Jane Fox, Programme Manager – The Information Standard, NHS England

Jane joined NHS England in July 2013 having previously worked for Skills for Health, leading and supporting workforce and skills development across a range of policy areas. Before that Jane spent a long time as a career civil servant at the Department of Health. Jane brings her wide ranging knowledge and experience of policy development and implementation to her current role heading up the delivery team that operates The Information Standard. Her focus is on ensuring that the scheme supports person centred care policy by enabling and empowering people and patients through the provision of high quality usable public facing health and care information.


Jonathan Berry, National Policy Lead – Health Literacy, NHS England

Jonathan joined NHS England’s Person Centred Care team in November 2015 where he leads on policy development with regard to Health Literacy and Shared Decision Making. Prior to this he worked in the voluntary sector for an organisation which specialises in delivering Health Literacy programmes in deprived communities.

He has an extensive health background which includes developing and project managing the development of the national Health Literacy Programme, Skilled for Health, on behalf of the Department of Health and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. Before that, he worked in the NHS for 10 years where, among other things, he introduced the PALS service and the Expert Patient Programme. His background is in policy development, implementing policy, partnership working, quality improvement, change management, project management, training and advocacy.

The Public Library Health Offer

This joint presentation by The Reading Agency and Society of Chief Librarians presentation will focus on the role of public libraries in delivering better health and wellbeing outcomes for local communities through Universal Health Offer developments such as Reading Well Books on Prescription supporting self-management through quality endorsed reading and Reading Friends, the new Big Lottery funded programme using reading befriending to combat loneliness and isolation amongst vulnerable older people. It will also look at the new partnerships this work is developing and the opportunities for more joined up working across the library sector.

Debbie Hicks, Creative Director, The Reading Agency

Debbie Hicks is creative director at The Reading Agency, a national charity working to inspire, share and celebrate reading. She specialises in reading, health and public libraries and has played a key role in national research as well as policy and programme development in this area. She leads the Reading Agency’s work supporting the Society of Chief Librarians’ Universal Health Offer including the development of the Reading Well Books on Prescription Scheme for England and Reading Friends, the new Big Lottery funded reading befriending programme for lonely and isolated older people.


Julie Spencer, Head of Library and Museums, Bolton Council 

Julie has been Head of Library and Museum Services for Bolton Council since 2009. She currently represent the North West on National SCL as well as being the public library Universal Health Offer Lead for SCL. Julie is an active board member for the collaborative working activities within the NW and Greater Manchester.

As lead for the Universal Health Offer, through self-help health information schemes such as Reading Books on Prescription, she is responsible for promoting and coordinating public library activity with public health priorities locally and nationally, supporting individuals around prevention and early intervention. Reading Well Books on Prescription is delivered by The Reading Agency working in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians; supported by Arts Council England and Wellcome Trust.

Keeping up with pace of change

This session will highlight the challenges of demonstrating where evidence-based health and care policy has contributed to improved outcomes. Using examples from our service, it will explore the current complex nature of the ever-changing NHS and care landscape, structure and policies and how services can respond to rapidly shifting structures and user needs. The session will also explore the growing need and demand for evidence-based information to help make informed decisions from a range of stakeholders in the NHS.

Deena Maggs, Head of Information and Knowledge Services, The King’s Fund

Deena leads the Information and Knowledge Services at The King’s Fund, a think-tank which focuses on health and care policy in England. She is the strategic lead for the information services and products provided both internally and externally to support the King’s Fund role in health policy sense-making.

Before joining The King’s Fund, Deena held library roles in both the corporate and academic sectors. She enjoys sharing ideas and experiences in delivering specialist information services. Deena is the current Treasurer for the Consortium of Independent Health Libraries in London (CHILL) and is also a qualified coach practitioner.

Session Chair: Imrana Ghumra, Co-Chair HLG, CILIP

Imrana is currently the Co-Chair of CILIP’s Health Libraries Group and has been an active member of HLG since 2009. She is the Professional Advisor, Library & Knowledge Services at Health Education England, working across the East of England. Imrana has worked for the Schools Library Service and Civil Service but the majority of her career has been in Health Libraries. She has an interest in utilising technology and social media for access to evidence based health information; getting best value for money on all products and services as well as marketing, coaching and leadership.