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Clear to all

Accurate, effective and accessible information is essential for the provision of high quality services and care. It lies at the centre of successful person-centred healthcare, helping people manage their health and wellbeing, and make fully informed decisions on the healthcare they receive.

People’s ability to understand information can change in different situations and environments. Age, disability, language barriers, cultural differences, low literacy levels and emotional distress can all affect understanding. The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act places a legal obligation on us to ensure that patients are informed and supported to be involved in decisions about their care and treatment.

This guide has been developed to support individuals in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to create simple, clear and concise information that allows us to meet our legislative requirements and the needs of our patients. In this context, patient information refers to written information such as leaflets, flyers and posters, as well as video and audio recordings.

The production of patient information is governed by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Patient Information Management Policy (pdf)

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Consider your content carefully, and be clear about the information you want to convey to your target audience. Be sure to explain any instructions in detail, and include facts about risks, side effects and benefits. If you are using any third-party information, make sure you have the correct permissions for use; for example, any text or illustrations used from another source.

It is important that your content is fit for purpose. You should engage with your target audience for feedback; they will be able to tell if what you have written is helpful, clear and answers their questions. Ask your peer group to do the same.

You should check your content against the Clear to all Do and Don’t Checklist (pdf). When you are satisfied with your content, get final agreement from all stakeholders, then complete and submit the Patient Information Planner (pdf). 


Please check all existing resources before creating any new patient information. It may be that someone has already developed information on the same or a similar subject, or there may a suitable online resource.

Public Health Resource Directory – an extensive range of booklets, leaflets and posters available to order via our Public Health Resources Directory

Print On The Web – patient information developed by Medical Illustration Services (this resources can only be accessed by NHSGGC staff)

NHS Inform – Scotland’s national health information service

You should be able to evidence:

  • the need for a new resource. How has that need been identified?
  • engagement with patients, families and carers. How will they would find the information useful?
  • funding for the resource. Do you have agreement from a service manager that a resource is required?
  • clinical governance input. Have you discussed the new resource with your local group?
  • collaborating with colleagues in other localities, sectors or Health Boards
    Can the resource can be used GGC-wide, regionally or nationally?

It is essential that patient information produced within NHS GGC meets the quality standards outlined in the policy. All patient information will be quality assured with regards Clear to All principles prior to progressing to production.

Clear Language

If you need support or guidance on writing information for patients, please contact the Clear to All team at:

Clear Design

Medical Illustration Services provide a free service for the design of all patient information. They can also advise on the most appropriate and cost-effective method of distribution.

Contact: 0141 211 8580 /

Translation and Accessible Formats

We have a legal obligation to ensure that all patients are communicated with in a way they understand and that best meets their needs, including the use of accessible formats. Consider your target audience to ensure that the needs of equality groups have been taken into consideration.

The Equality and Human Rights Team (EHRT) hold the central budget for translations and other accessible formats. To request information in an alternative format, please download and complete the form and submit for approval (

Urgent requests, such as appointment letters, clinical instructions or health records for a patient in active care, should be emailed directly to the EHRT ( This form does not need to be completed for urgent requests.

We only translate information that has been produced by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. If you need a translated version of a charity or Public Health Scotland publication, please indicate this on the form.

Please note, interpreters should be used to communicate information which is normally given verbally to English speaking patients; translated materials are for written materials only.

You can get advice on translation and accessible formats from the NHSGGC Equalities and Human Rights Team (0141 201 4560) or email:

Review existing patient information

The NHSGGC Patient Information Policy states that patient information should be reviewed at least every three years. It is the responsibility of both the service and the document owner to ensure that information made available to patients, families and carers within any healthcare setting is accurate and current.

If your information is due for review, you should re-assess its need.

  • Is there any new and more relevant information available elsewhere?
  • Have you consulted your target audience about the usefulness of the resource?​

Changes should only be made to content if they:

  • Reflect changes in practice or evidence
  • Correct factual inaccuracies
  • Improve or enhance the users understanding
  • Reflect feedback from users

Remember to check that all addresses, phone numbers and external web links are correct.

When you are satisfied with your content, and you have final agreement from all stakeholders, then complete and submit the Review of Existing Patient Information Planner (pdf). 

Your amendments will be quality assured in relation to Clear to All Principles before progressing to production.

Contact Us

If you need support or guidance on writing information for patients, please contact the Clear to All team at: