This is a new standard being introduced by NHS England which has been developed to support the Equality Act.
The purpose of the standard is to make sure that people with a disability, impairment or sensory loss have access to information that they can understand and get any communication support they might need. This also applies to parents and carers of these people.
This does not apply to:
- Patients who prefer to get their information in other formats that do not have a disability or sensory loss.
- Foreign language translation
- People who have difficulty reading or understanding information for reasons other than a disability, impairment or sensory loss for example due to low literacy or a learning difficulty like dyslexia as distinct from a learning disability.
For example they might need their information in a format other than standard printed letters; such as braille, easy read, via email etc.
Also they may need help with communication through use of a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, deafblind manual interpreter, an advocate etc.
What is included in the standard?
- Ask people if they have any information or communication needs and find out what they are
- Record those needs
- Highlight in the patient records what the needs are and how they should be met
- Share these needs with other NHS adult social care providers with their consent.
- Make sure that they receive information in a way that meets their needs and that they get any communication support that they need.
More information about the standard can be found at www.england.nhs.uk/accessibleinfo
NHS Accessible Information Standard update July 2015 BSL & subtitles: