Clear, understandable information is important to help you make decisions about your health and care and get the most out of services.
The Accessible Information Standard gives disabled people and people with sensory loss the legal right to get health and social care information they can understand and communications support if needed. But is the standard being delivered by services and does it go far enough?
As part of our campaign, ‘Your Care, Your Way’, we asked the public about their experience of getting accessible health and care information.
Although we heard from a wider group of people, this analysis looks specifically at 605 people who said that they need support communicating with healthcare staff
They shared their views from 26 February to 29 May 2022.
Our findings aim to help NHS and social care decision-makers hear what is working and what could be better from the public's perspective.
Whilst the survey participants were self-selected, their views are likely to reflect those of a significant group of people who need communications support.
Understanding information and asking for support
- One in five (20%) said they struggle to understand most of the information given by services.
- Over half (51%) had asked for support to understand information.
- Five in ten (53%) had asked for support to contact services.
- Four in ten (44%) had asked for support to communicate with staff.
- Three in ten (30%) said they rarely or never get the support they need.
- Two in ten (22%) had been refused information in a format they need.
- Over one in four (28%) had been refused support to understand healthcare information
- Over a third (38%) said not being provided with accessible information affected their mental health and wellbeing.
- Nearly half (48%) feel uncomfortable asking for accessible information.
- Over half (53%) said staff attitudes affected their ability to ask for support.
- Nearly half (47%) think how services communicate has got worse since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.