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Have your say on the Accessible Information Standard review – Olivia Butterworth

As the Accessible Information Standard review is launched, NHS England’s Head of Public Participation, calls on people to share their experiences:

Last summer, we reached a real milestone in our efforts to improve access to health and care information and communication support for people with a disability, impairment or sensory loss.

Since 1 August 2016, all organisations that provide NHS care and / or publicly-funded adult social care must follow the Accessible Information Standard in full.

This means that patients, service users and carers should receive information in a format they can access and understand, for example in braille, easy read, audio or via email, and communication support if they need it – for example, a British Sign Language interpreter at appointments.

Now that the deadline for compliance with the Standard has passed, we’re undertaking a review of it, to assess the impact and to ensure that it is ‘fit for purpose’.

We’re keen to learn from the experiences of service providers, service commissioners and service users, as well as from representative organisations and other stakeholders.

If you have experience and feedback you would like to share with us to contribute to the review we would really appreciate it if you could take the time to tell us via one of our three surveys:

We have been told about some fantastic work going on in local areas, and we’re really keen to learn more about this, as well as to understand some of the challenges organisations may be facing with full implementation of the Standard. Of course, we also need to understand the experiences of people with a disability, impairment or sensory loss if we are to really understand how the Standard is working and what improvements might be helpful.

Please complete one of the three surveys and have your say before the deadline of 10 March 2017. We also welcome case studies and examples of good practice, which can be sent to us directly at england.nhs.participation@nhs.net

Further information about the Standard, and the review, can be found on the NHS England website. A range of tools, templates and guidance to support implementation are also available on our resources web page. Queries and requests for alternative formats should be sent to england.nhs.participation@nhs.net or patients can also contact our Customer Contact Centre on 0300 311 22 33.


Olivia ButterworthOlivia Butterworth is the Head of Public Voice for NHS England where she works to ensure citizens and communities have a voice that influences the development, design and delivery of our health and care services.

Her key responsibility is the development of the Citizens’ Assembly for NHS England which will see a revolution in public participation and transparency.

Olivia was previously the strategic lead within the Department of Health on partnerships with the voluntary and community sector and more widely the ‘Big Society’ vision. She led the 2007 strategic review of DH voluntary sector funding and investment which resulted in the creation of the Voluntary Sector Strategic Partner Programme, the Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development (IESD) Fund and the Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund.

Olivia has a background in Community Development and education with a passion for empowering people to be their own change. She has worked with a wide and diverse range of voluntary sector organisations, both in paid and voluntary roles, providing support with organisational development, developing services, engagement, involvement and fundraising.

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