A new standard requiring anyone offering NHS care to make sure people with varying levels of sensory and Learning Disabilities can get hold of information in a format they can understand is coming into force this year. Called the Accessible Information Standard (AIS), the standard has five clear stages for the NHS to follow:
1. Ask: identify if an individual has any communication/information needs relating to a disability or sensory loss.
2. Record: record these needs in a clear, unambiguous and standardised way; electronically or using paper records (administrative systems or documents).
3. Alert/flag/highlight: ensure recorded needs are ’highly visible’. Whenever a service user’s records are accessed by other staff members, they should be prompted to take action to communicate appropriately with the service user.
4. Share: include information about a service user’s communication needs as part of existing data sharing processes and in accordance with existing information governance frameworks.
5. Act: take steps to ensure the service user receives information they can access and are able to understand, because it has been delivered in the way that was requested.
More information on the Accessible Information Standard can be found on the NHS England website.
Further resources about the Standard including toolkits, guidance and quizzes can be found on a microsite designed by NHS Brent, Harrow and Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group: www.brentaccessibleinformation.nhs.uk
Practices are asked to:
Note the AIS requirements: see page 14 of the NHS England AIS guidance paper attached
Note the monitoring and compliance processes