Accessible information standard part 1

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Summary of report content

The Accessible Information Standard was introduced by NHS England to “make sure that people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss are provided with information that they can easily read or understand and with support so they can communicate effectively with health and social care services. This report looks at what local people with sensory and communication impairments in Peterborough have been saying to us about their experiences over the last eight months. It contains information gathered by Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Healthwatch Peterborough after the implementation of the Accessible Information Standard (AIS). A survey was produced to find out people’s view (appendix 1) and we have incorporated the views of 35 individuals with a sensory or communication disability collected from eight engagement events and presentations. They gained cooperation from five organisations who support relevant service users, distributing and promoting the survey to their client group. The 15 Step Challenge at Peterborough City Hospital (PCH) incorporated the AIS for the first time, following a request from Healthwatch Peterborough, using the Healthwatch England AIS toolkit. The key findings included; There was low levels of public awareness of the NHS Accessible Information Standard, and the benefits it provides service users with a sensory and/or learning disability. People with a sensory and communication impairment were getting some level of accessible information support, but not everyone is getting this support and even those getting some support are not getting all the support they need. The lowest level of provision was identified within GP practices. However the report highlights further research is required to confirm this finding. The most popular resource needed was an advocate. However, their findings show this is mostly provided by family members or support workers, rather than through NHS providers. People with a sensory and communication impairment highly value accessible information services when they are in place. Telephone calls and emails to patients have improved communication to this group of service users regarding appointment dates/reminders. Staff attitudes are positive but training should be offered to frontline NHS staff, to increase public awareness and take up of this service. Communication between NHS providers could be better, to ensure service user requirements are captured and shared. Healthwatch can use its statutory ‘Enter and View’ tool to ensure NHS providers are complying with AIS. The report does not include recommendations.

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General details

Report title 
Accessible information standard part 1
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire
Date of publication 
Friday, 10 November, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 10 November, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 10 November, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Health inequalities
Other information of note about this report 
Solution Based
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 
How was the information collected? 
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
Social care services 
Adult social care

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
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 
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
Tangible impact (not cost related)

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.