Accessible Information Standard

How do you communicate?

Do you need information from us in a different format – for example, large print or easy read? Do you need help to communicate with us – for example, because you use British Sign Language? If so, please tell a member of the practice staff or telephone us on 01932 343524.

Accessible Information Standard (NHS England)

Independent contractors providing services including primary medical care services are listed as one of the organisations which must have regards to information standards as defined within the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

The Accessible Information Standard tells organisations how to ensure that disabled patients and their carers receive information in formats that they can understand, as well as receiving appropriate support to help them to communicate. Such formats could include large print, British Sign Language or easy-read documents.

A disabled person is defined as “Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”

The five key requirements of the standard are:

Ask patients and carers if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs

Identify / find out if an individual or their carer has any communication / information needs. Patients will be asked what their individual needs are – this is will be done when new patients register, and for existing patients as and when opportunities present themselves, e.g. during consultations, phone calls, and by sharing information on the Practice website.

Record those needs in a set way

Using the standard template in EMIS to record those needs in a clear, unambiguous and standardised way using clinical coding and free text where appropriate.

Highlight in a patient’s file, so it is clear that they have information or communication needs and clearly explain how those needs should be met

Ensure that recorded needs are ‘highly visible’ – electronic records should have an attached, while paper records should be clearly marked.

Share information about a patient’s needs with other NHS and adult social care providers, when they have consent or permission to do so

Include information about individuals’ communication needs as part of existing data sharing processes (and in line with existing information governance frameworks).

Make sure that people get information in an accessible way and communication support if they need it

Act to take steps to ensure that individuals receive information which they can access and understand, and receive communication support if they need it.

The practice asks patients if they have any information or communication needs, and how best to meet their needs. This information will be recorded clearly and adding an alert to the patient’s medical records so it is clear that they have information or communication needs, as well as highlighting how those needs should be met. The needs will be identified at the point of registration for new patients, and opportunistically for existing patients.