Factsheets and clarifying notes
In response to queries about interpretation of aspects of the Accessible Information Standard, some notes of clarification have been prepared to support effective understanding and implementation of the Standard by applicable organisations.
- Notes on conformance with the Standard
- Notes on meeting the cost of meeting individuals’ needs
- Notes on the NHS e-Referral Service
- Notes on Assessing Conformance
- Notes on the Summary Care Record
- Notes on GP IT Systems
- Identifying information and communication needs
- Recording information and communication needs
- Flagging information and communication needs
- Sharing information and communication needs
- Meeting information and communication needs
- Top Implementation Tips
- Using email and text messages for communicating with patients
- Legal Duties to meet individual’s information and communication and support needs
- Different types of accessible information and communication support and who may need them
- Psychological Professions Network guide on Working with People who are Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of Hearing
- NHS Choices Guidance on Supporting Mental Health Users and Carers with Communication Difficulties
- UK Association of Alternative Formats (UKAAF) resources to ensure the accuracy and quality of translated and transcribed information: general guidance and minimum standards
Online Discussion Forum
The Patient Information Forum (PIF), supported by NHS England, has launched a new online group to support organisations with following the Accessible Information Standard. The group is free to join, and is for anyone involved in implementing the Standard. The group will be an online space where users can connect with each other and:
- Keep up to date with NHS England guidance, support and events
- Share accessible information resources and guidance
- Take part in discussions and access best practice support on accessible information
- Share their questions, challenges and successes
Would you like to join the PIF accessible information group.
Please note that the Accessible Information Forum is free to join and participate in – there is no membership fee. However other forums hosted by PiF do incur a fee, hence the reference to payment in some of areas of the website and registration process.
AIS terminology (SNOMED, CTV READ codes)
In electronic systems which use SNOMED CT, Read v2 or CTV3 codes, such information MUST be recorded using the coded data items associated with the subsets defined by this standard.
In electronic systems which use other coding systems or terminologies, or where paper records are used, such information MUST be recorded in line with the human readable definitions / categories associated with the data items.
Details of the terminology can be found at Terminology (SNOMED CT, Read v2 and CTV3 codes)
North East Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) in partnership with Darlington Borough Council and Darlington Association on Disability carried out a project is to develop a shared set of ‘human readable definitions’ for consistently capturing accessible information needs where SNOMED codes are not being used. The report and outcomes of the project are available.
Glossary of information formats and communication types
E-learning and training resources
Two e-Learning modules have been developed in association with Health Education England: The Accessible Information Standard: Introduction and The Accessible Information Standard: Towards Excellence.
The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education has produced an e-learning package for pharmacists.
Disability Matters have created an elearning package, ‘Disability Matters for the Accessible Information Standard‘ to help staff improve their understanding of disability, and the information and communication needs of people with disabilities.
- A bite size summary on what the AIS means for primary care
- The benefits of the AIS for patients, carers, families and health and social care professionals
- Step by Step guides to identifying, recording and flagging patients with additional communication needs on clinical systems
- A selection of solutions available for practices to use when providing information in alternative formats
- A guide to staff training and raising awareness of the AIS in practices.
Brent, Harrow and Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group has produced an Accessible Information microsite with toolkits, guidance and checklists.
Case studies and good practice examples
Presentations, videos and webinars
- BSL video – Bracknell Forest Sensory Needs Conference
- Gloucestershire Deaf Association
- Solent NHS Trust
- Sense webinar information page and YouTube webinar
- Presentations from NHS England’s Regional Implementation Workshops
Sample documents, posters, leaflets and infographics
- Template policies: example Accessible Information Standard policies which you may want to use to support the development of your own plans and implementation policies. There are three; one for Clinical Commissioning Groups, one for Local Authorities and one for GP practices.
- Template report for Governing Body or Board
- Communications Card Template
- ‘Your Rights Under the Accessible Information Standard’ (produced by CHANGE)
- Easy Read Complaints Leaflet (produced by Bristol City Council)
- Patient Leaflet (produced by Birchwood Medical Practice, Bristol)
- Appointment Cards (produced by Birchwood Medical Practice)
- Contact Request Slip (produced by Birchwood Medical Practice)
- Patient Questionnaire (produced by Birchwood Medical Practice)
NHS England Accessible Information and Communication Policy
NHS England’s principles about accessible information and communication reflect the mission of “High quality care for all…” NHS England also believes that planned and appropriate use of limited resources will make this care sustainable “…now and for future generations.”
First published in November 2016, the Accessible Information and Communication Policy aims to make sure that NHS England has a clear, consistent, transparent and fair approach to the provision of accessible, inclusive information and communication support to patients, carers, service users, members of the public, staff, stakeholders and partner organisations. The policy includes internal and external communications, and information produced for internal and external audiences.
NHS organisations, professionals and partners who wish to share their feedback on the Policy should email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Accessible Information and Communication Policy’ as the subject. If you are a patient, carer or member of the public and have feedback, a concern or complaint, please get in touch with our Customer Contact Centre.
Other useful resources
- Health Professionals – Resources to support health professionals including “The Hospital Communication Book“.
- Pharmacy Settings – A range of resources to help in Pharmacy settings has been developed as part of a Mencap Pharmacy Project. The resources can be found on the Mencap website.
- Dos and don’ts for designing for accessibility
- Macmillan Cancer Support advice on translations and accessible formats
- Accessible Information for people living in Portsmouth
- Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB)
- Action on Hearing Loss
- Shaw Trust
- Leonard Cheshire Disability
- British Institute of Learning Disabilities
- Straight Talkers
- University of Bristol “Getting Things Changed” project
Frequently asked questions
Following discussions with the British Medical Association regarding implementation of the Standard, a set of Frequently Asked Questions was developed and published on its website which may also be helpful to other health and care professionals.
If you can’t find what you are looking for, please contact us.