Accessible Information Standard
The Accessible Information Standard (AIS) means all NHS Trusts must offer reasonable adjustments to help people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss to fully understand the information we give them. It applies to communication during an appointment and any information we provide to take away.
There are five requirements of the standard we must follow to ensure that people using our services receive information in a way they can access and understand:
- Identifying needs: ask people if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs.
- Recording needs: record those needs in a clear and standardised way in electronic and paper notes.
- Flagging needs: ensure that those recorded needs are ‘highly visible’ and prompt staff to act whenever they look at a patient’s notes.
- Sharing needs: include information about people’s needs when sharing information with other services or referring to other parts of the NHS and social care.
- Meeting needs: take steps to ensure that people receive information which they can access and understand, and receive communication support if they need it.
If you need any information in a different format, please ask your clinician at your next appointment. We will record your needs for all future appointments.
NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with the charity Sense to develop an animated video which provides a step by step overview of the Standard. The video includes subtitles and British Sign Language interpretation.
Services we offer
It is our responsibility as an NHS organisation to follow the Standard. To meet the needs of the patients and carers we serve, we offer the following services:
• British Sign Language interpreting in appointments
• hearing loops are available in a number of waiting areas and clinics
• large print
• easy read
• contact by text or email
• health/communication passports
One of the fundamental principles of the Standard is that our patients, service users, carers and parents are asked to self-define their information or communication support needs, and that these needs (rather than disabilities) are recorded.
If your requirements are not being met, please let us know so we can fix this. Please talk to your clinician about this first. If you are not getting the support you need, contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team.
We also offer interpreting services for those people whose first language is not English. If you would like any of our information in your language, please talk to your clinician.
- More information about the Standard is available on the NHS England website.
- The human rights organisation CHANGE have produced an easy read document about your rights under the Standard.
- Charities including Sense and the Royal National Institute of Blind people (RNIB) also have helpful information about the Standard.