Accessible Information Standard

All organisations that provide NHS or adult social care must follow the Accessible Information Standard by law. Organisations must follow the standard in full by 31 July 2016.

The Accessible Information Standard aims to make sure that disabled people have access to information that they can understand and any communication support they might need.

The standard tells organisations how to make information accessible to patients, service users and their carers and parents. This includes making sure that people get information in different formats if they need it, such as large print, braille, easy read and via email

The Accessible Information Standard also tells organisations how to support people’s communication needs, for example by offering support from a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, deafblind manual interpreter or an advocate.  As part of the standard organisations that provide NHS or social care must do five things. They must:

  • Ask people if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs
  • Record those needs in a set way
  • Highlight a person’s file, so it is clear that they have information or communication needs, and clearly explain how these should be met
  • Share information about a person’s needs with other NHS and adult social care providers, when they have consent or permission to do so
  • Act to make sure that people get information in an accessible way and communication support if they need it.

More information on the Accessible Information Standard can be found on the NHS England website.

Making health and social care information accessible in west Hampshire

West Hampshire CCG is helping local NHS services and GP practices get ready to meet the standard.  For example we are working with Wessex Local Medical Committees to provide training and other resources for GP practice staff. 

If you need patient information in other formats, or want to help NHS staff understand your needs, these resources may help:

  • Hospital Passport for people with a learning disability. This document should be completed before you go into hospital. It tells nurses and medical staff important information about you.
  • Mental health self-help leaflets in different formats. 
  • A Picture of Health website. Source of Easy read information for people with a learning disability.
  • Health information leaflets in other languages.
  • NHS Choices has a facility which allows pages on their website to be translated. Click on the ‘Translate’ tab at the top right and choose from over 70 different languages.