It’s now been a year since the Accessible Information Standard came into force. It requires any organisation providing NHS or social care to communicate in a way that everybody can understand, regardless of their circumstances. Here’s a reminder of what you should expect.
The standard aims to make sure that people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss are communicated with in a way that meets their needs. Organisations are required to provide alternative formats where required, such as braille, large print, and easy read. They must also support people to communicate, for example by arranging a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, deafblind manual interpreter or an advocate.
So if you’re speaking to a dentist, doctor, care home manager or any other provider of health and social care, here’s what you can expect:
- You should be asked if you have any communication needs, and asked how these needs can be met.
- Your needs should be recorded in a clear and set way.
- Your file or notes should highlight these communication needs so people are aware and know how to meet them.
- Information about your communication needs should be shared with other providers of NHS and adult social care, when they have consent or permission to do so.
- Information should be delivered to you in a way you can access and understand, with the option for communication support if needed.
Find out more about the Accessible Information Standard.
Are your communications needs being met?
If you are having problems accessing information that is easy to understand, or you’re not getting the communication support you need, contact Healthwatch Cumbria at email@example.com or call 03003 038567