Accessible Information Standard

Hylton Medical Group 

Accessible Information Standard (NHS England)

The Accessible Information Standard is an NHS England initiative that 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, braille 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 basic steps that make up the standard are:

Ask: Identify / find out if an individual has any communication / information needs. Patients should be asked what their individual needs are – this should be done when new patients register, and for existing patients as and when opportunities present themselves, e.g. during phone calls, and by sharing information materials in the practice in posters, leaflets etc.

Record: Record those needs in a clear, unambiguous and standardised way using clinical coding and free text where appropriate.

Alert / flag / highlight: Ensure that recorded needs are ‘highly visible’ – electronic records should have an attached flag or alert, while paper records should be clearly marked.

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

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

The practice will ask patients if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how best to meet their needs. This information will be recorded clearly and in a set way.

The practice will highlight or “flag” individuals’ files or notes so it is clear that they have information or communication needs, as well as highlighting how those needs should be met. It is good practice to take existing data held by the practice that indicates which patients are more likely to have information or communication needs. This will aid in proactively targeting such individuals to identify and record their needs in line with the Accessible Information Standard.

***The practice has the facility to obtain / transcribe information in braille, large font (easy read), diagrams/pictures, a range of languages, in written, verbal and video format.***  

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