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.