Accessible information standards (AIS)
In April 2016 a new standard came into effect which aims to make sure that disabled people have access to information that they can understand and any communication support they might need. All organisations that provide NHS or adult social care must follow the Accessible Information Standard.
The standard tells organisations how to make information accessible to patients, service users and their carers and parents. This includes making sure that people get information in different formats if they need it such as large print, braille, easy read and via email.
The Accessible Information Standard also tells organisations how to support people’s communication needs, for example by offering support from a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, deafblind manual interpreter or an advocate.
As part of the standard organisations that provide NHS or social care must do five things. They must:
- Ask people if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs.
- Record those needs in a set way.
- Highlight a person’s file, so it is clear that they have information or communication needs, and clearly explain how these should be met.
- Share information about a person’s needs with other NHS and adult social care providers, when they have consent or permission to do so.
- Act to make sure that people get information in an accessible way and communication support if they need it.
More information on the Accessible Information Standard can be found on the NHS England website www.england.nhs.uk/accessibleinfo.
How Hull CCG are making communications more accessible
All of the service providers we commission have to meet the Accessible Information Standard, and we are putting processes in place to check this through the contract management process.
We are part of a Hull and East Riding wide Accessible Information Group of commissioners and health care providers, which meets regularly to focus on accessible information, learn from each other and look at how we can work together to improve accessible communications.
We fund an interpretation service that is used by the CCG and across primary care services (GP Practices, Dental Practices, Community Pharmacies, Ophthalmic Practices) to ensure that patients have access to high-quality interpretation services. This includes access to sign language (BSL), audio transcriptions, as well as other languages.
If you have any feedback about accessible communications, please contact us on HullCCG.firstname.lastname@example.org.