Accessible Information Standard

Making health and social care information accessible

From 1st August 2016 onwards, all organisations that provide NHS care or adult social care are legally required to follow the Accessible Information Standard.

The standard aims to make sure that people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss are provided with information that they can easily read or understand and with support so they can communicate effectively with health and social care services.

Post-implementation review

In early 2017, NHS England is reviewing the Standard to assess the impact and to ensure that it is ‘fit for purpose’. The review is looking at:

  • how organisations have implemented the Standard;
  • the impact of the Standard, including organisations’ and service users’ experiences;
  • any aspects of the Standard which need updating or clarifying.

The opportunity to share feedback as part of the review has now closed.

All of the responses received are being analysed and a report will be produced. We expect to publish the report in April / May 2017. Depending on the findings, revised versions of the Specification and / or Implementation Guidance for the Standard might be issued. However, there will be no substantive changes to the overall scope of the Standard.

If you have any queries please contact england.nhs.participation@nhs.net or patients / members of the public can call 0300 311 22 33.

The Accessible Information Standard – Summary

The Accessible Information Standard is made up of:

Effective implementation will require health and social care organisations to make changes to policy, procedure, human behaviour and, where applicable, electronic systems.

Commissioners of NHS and publicly-funded adult social care must also meet this standard, in that they must make sure that contracts, frameworks and performance-management arrangements with provider bodies enable and promote the Standard’s requirements.

Successful implementation will lead to improved outcomes and experiences, and the provision of safer and more personalised care and services to those individuals who come within the Standard’s scope.

The Standard sets the framework and provides clear direction for a dramatic improvement in the ability of the NHS and adult social care system to meet the information and communication support needs of disabled people.

The ‘Summer 2016 update‘, which summarises what organisations are required to do to comply with the Accessible Information Standard.  The update is also available in easy read, audio, video and braille.

Please note that the contact details in these alternative format versions are now out of date. For specific queries, including requests for information in alternative formats, please email england.nhs.participation@nhs.net. If members of the public are unable to use the email address please contact the customer contact centre in the first instance on: 0300 311 22 33.