Accessible Information Standard
All organisations that provide NHS or adult social care must follow the Accessible Information Standard by law. The Accessible Information Standard tells organisations how they should make sure that patients and service users and their carers and parents can access and understand the information they are given.
It aims to ensure that people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss get information that they can access and understand, and any communication support that they need. This includes making sure that people get information in different formats if they need it, for example in large print, braille, easy read or via email.
The Accessible Information Standard also tells organisations how they should make sure that people get any support with communication that they need, for example support from a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, deafblind manual interpreter or an advocate.
What does the accessible information standard tell organisations to do?
As part of the accessible information standard, organisations that provide NHS or adult 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 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 to meet those needs.
- 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 more information please email NHS England at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01138 253002. Or you can write to Accessible Information Standard, NHS England, 7E56, Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UE.