Accessible information standard

Posted by Eve Piffaretti on
By 31 July 2016 all organisations that provide NHS or publicly funded adult social care (including GP Practices) must have fully implemented and conform to the Accessible information Standard.

The Accessible Information Standard ("AIS") aims to providing people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss with information that they can easily read or understand.  Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s National Director for Patients and Information, has said that:  

“It is vital that everybody understands the information they receive about their health and wellbeing. The Accessible Information Standard will mean that people with disabilities are not left in the dark, leaving them with the peace of mind to fully focus on their care."

Organisations that provide NHS or publicly funded adult social care must identify and record information and communication needs with service users, at the first interaction or registration with their service and as part of on-going routine interaction with the service by existing service users.

In brief, organisations must do five things:

  1. Identification of needs: Ask people if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs.
  2. Record those needs clearly and in a set way.
  3. Highlight or ‘flag’ the person’s file or notes so it is clear that they have information or communication needs and how those needs should be met.
  4. Share information about people’s information and communication needs with other providers of NHS and adult social care, when they have consent or permission to do so.
  5. Take steps to ensure that people receive information which they can access and understand, and receive communication support if they need it.

By 1 April 2016 all organisations that provide NHS or publicly funded adult social care must identify and record information and communication needs with service users:

Further information as to what is expected to meet the standards requirements, is set out in the AIS Implementation Guidance available here.

About the Author

Eve heads our Commercial team in Wales and the Public Law Group. She acts for public sector organisations across the UK advising on public law and regulatory issues.

Eve Piffaretti
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029 2068 6143

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