Accessible information as standard

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Summary of report content

This report brings together the findings of two separate projects that looked at the experiences of people who need accessible information when they use health or care services. These started under Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Healthwatch Peterborough, who combined on 1 April 2017 and now work together as one organisation. Between October 2016 and the summer of 2017, Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Healthwatch Peterborough spoke to over 180 people about their experiences of getting accessible information when they used health or care services. Overall, they found low levels of awareness about the Accessible Information Standard. The themes that emerged from what people told them were similar in both areas and for most people. Most people are getting some level of accessible information support. This was variable and even those getting some support are not getting all the support they need. Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Healthwatch Peterborough informed that it is likely that people are being given treatment without consent as they do not understand what they are consenting to. Staff attitudes are mostly positive towards providing accessible information. However, the report highlights frontline NHS and care staff would benefit from training in disability awareness and their responsibilities under the Accessible Information Standard. Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Healthwatch Peterborough included 8 recommendations within the report.

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General details

Report title 
Accessible information as standard
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 8 November, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 8 November, 2016
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 1 August, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Consent to care and treatment
Health inequalities
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Healthwatch Peterborough
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
User stories
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Acute services with overnight beds
Acute services without overnight beds / listed acute services with or without overnight beds

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.