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Your spotlight on health and social care services


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NHS wants to know if you find care information accessible


Since August 2016, NHS health and social care services have been required by law to ensure their communications are accessible to all. Now, six months on, NHS England wants to hear what difference the Accessible Information Standard has made to your experience.

two women signing together

The Standard exists to make sure that people with a disability, impairment or sensory loss are given information they can access and understand, as well as any communication support that they need.

This includes making sure that information is available in different formats, such as large print, braille, easy read or via email. It also requires appropriate support to be available, such as a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, deafblind manual interpreter or an advocate.

To ensure that the Standard is met, organisations may have had to change their policies and procedures, trained staff, and perhaps altered their systems to make sure people get what they need.

Five ways NHS and social care organisations should be making information accessible

  1. You should be asked if you have any communication needs, and asked how these needs can be met
  2. Your needs should be recorded in a clear and set way 
  3. Your file or notes should highlight these communication needs so people are aware and know how to meet them
  4. Information about your communication needs should be shared with other providers of NHS and adult social care, when they have consent or permission to do so
  5. Information should be delivered to you in a way you can access and understand, with the option for communication support if needed

 Related items

Share your views

NHS England wants to understand the impact that the standard has had in three key areas:

  • How the Standard has made a difference to people’s experiences
  • How organisations have implemented the Standard
  • If there are any areas of the Standard that need updating or clarifying

NHS England wants to hear from the public, health and social care professionals and the organisations they represent. Share your views by filling in NHS England’s survey by Friday 10 March.

Take the survey

Do you have an experience you would like to share?

If you are having problems getting access to information that is easy to understand, or feel that you are not getting the communication support you need, get in touch with your local Healthwatch.

Find your local Healthwatch