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Accessible Information Standard

The accessible information standard was developed to make health and social care services more accessible. NHS England implemented this standard in August 2016. 

All organisations that provide NHS care or adult social care are legally required to follow the Accessible Information Standard.

The standard aims to make sure that people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss are provided with information that they can easily read or understand and with support so they can communicate effectively with health and social care services.

The Accessible Information Standard directs and defines a specific, consistent approach to identifying, recording, flagging, sharing and meeting the information and communication support needs of patients, service users, carers and parents, where those needs relate to a disability, impairment or sensory loss. It aims to support anyone with information or communication needs relating to a disability, impairment or sensory loss.

As part of the Accessible Information Standard, organisations that provide NHS care or adult social care must do five things. They must:

  1. Ask people if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs.
  1. Record those needs clearly and in a set way.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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 on the how health and care services should be working with you, click here to visit the NHS England website, which has information in easy read, audio, video with subtitles and in British Sign Language.