Accessible Information Standard impact report

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Summary of report content

Since 1 August 2016, the Accessible Information Standard (AIS) has been in place. The AIS aims to make sure that disabled people get information in a way that they can access and understand. Healthwatch South Gloucestershire wanted to understand the impact that the legislation had had on people’s experiences of using local health and social care services over the last 12 months. During this work, Healthwatch South Gloucestershire reached 70 people and received 39 survey responses. 72% of respondents reported not having heard of the legislation, of whom half had a disability, impairment or sensory loss. In general Healthwatch found staff have good knowledge of the need to support people with communications needs, however they are not always aware of the AIS or its requirements on how they operate. Example of good practice shared During two visits to the Royal United Hospital Bath, Healthwatch South Gloucestershire observed positive work being done to improve accessibility for patients within the Audiology and Ophthalmology departments; Signage in large print and colours appropriate for patients with additional accessibility needs; posters prompting patients to share their communication needs with staff; provision of a range of information about support services. Healthwatch South Gloucestershire and The Hive Avon have partnered to deliver a project called Hivewatch, funded by South Gloucestershire’s Learning Difficulties Partnership Board. Five volunteers, all of whom have learning disabilities, have been trained to carry out visits to health and social care settings to observe the care being provided, gather feedback from service users and consider the accessibility of services for people with learning disabilities.

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General details

Report title 
Accessible Information Standard impact report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch South Gloucestershire
Date of publication 
Thursday, 1 March, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 2 October, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 29 December, 2017
Type of report 
Patient experience
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Information providing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
RNIB, Royal United Hospital Bath, BaNES Clinical CommissioningGroup (CCG), B&NES Council, South Gloucestershire CCG and South Gloucestershire Council, The Hive Avon
Primary research method used 
User stories
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Secondary care services 

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Vision impairment
Types of long term conditions 
Blindness or severe visual impairment
Deafness or severe hearing impairment

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Does the information include public's 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? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Network related 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.