Accessible Information Standard

Making health and social care information accessible

From 31 July 2016, 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 with support so they can communicate effectively with health and social care services.

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.

Plans for post-implementation review

During January – March 2017, there will be a review of the Standard. The review will look 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.

As part of the review, individuals and organisations will be able to feedback on their experiences and make suggestions. The main way for people to share their views will be via a survey, available in a range of formats. Following the review, NHS England will publish a report.