3 July 2017

New library scheme to support people living with long term health conditions

A new national ‘Reading Well’ scheme is being launched for people long term health conditions. Delivered by public libraries, the new scheme is part of the successful ‘Reading Well Books on Prescription’ programme, developed with health experts and people living with long term conditions and their carers.

Reading Well for long term conditions provides high-quality book based information, support and advice on a range of conditions and encourages people to take an active role in making decisions about their health.

On average people living with long term conditions spend just four hours a year with a health professional and 8,756 hours self-managing. There is an enormous need for accessible, quality assured health information to help people understand and manage their symptoms.

Reading Well for long term conditions has a recommended reading list of 28 books that were selected by health experts and people living with long term conditions. The list includes health information, memoir and self-management titles and covers conditions such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease, as well as common symptoms such as fatigue, pain, wellbeing and sleep problems.

The books are on display and free to borrow from all Brighton & Hove Libraries as well as in other participating libraries across England. The booklist is available at reading-well.org.uk/books/books-on-prescription/long-term-conditions.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust is providing information about local cancer screening facilities in the foyer at Jubilee Library from Monday 3 July to Friday 7 July to mark Health Information Week. Brighton & Hove Libraries also has a range of titles to support people living with cancer, which can be borrowed free of charge.

The Reading Well for long term conditions scheme is delivered by The Reading Agency in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians and is delivered through English public libraries. It is funded by Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust. It is supported by a range of health organisations including Public Health England, Health Education England, Self Management UK and The Richmond Group of Charities and has been co-produced with people with lived experience with the support of the Coalition of Collaborative Care.

Find out more about Reading Well in Brighton & Hove libraries at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/reading-well