Accessible Information Standards
The Accessible Information Standard exists to provide people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss with information that they can easily read or understand as well as any communication support that they need.
This includes making sure that information is available in different formats, such as large print, braille, easy read or via email. It also requires appropriate support to be available, such as a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, deafblind manual interpreter or an advocate.
All organisations that provide NHS or adult social care are required to follow the new standard. As part of the accessible information standard, these organisations must do the following:
- Ask people if they have any information or communication needs and find out how to meet their needs. Record those needs clearly and in a set way.
- Highlight or ‘flag’ the person’s file or notes so it is clear that they have information or communication needs and how those needs should be met.
- Share information about people’s information and communication needs with other providers of NHS and adult social care, when they have consent or permission to do so.
- Take steps to ensure that people receive information which they can access and understand, and receive communication support if they need it.
For the easy read version click here
Healthwatch Shropshire contriubuted to a review of the implementation of the standard by NHS England. The key findings include:
There is widespread support for the overarching aims of the Standard, and for the Standard itself, although some organisations have concerns about costs.
Patients, service users, carers and parents are clear that receiving accessible information and communication support is essential if they are to receive safe, high quality care, to maintain their privacy and dignity, and to be involved in decisions about their care and treatment.
Implementation of / compliance with the Standard is variable both across and within organisations, with particular (but differing) challenges identified by both large and small organisations of all types.
If you have any feedback about the implementation of the standard please let us know.