The Standard was introduced in England in August 2016 and should ensure that disabled patients receive health information in formats that they can read.
However, many blind and partially sighted people are still receiving information they are unable to read, despite the NHS Accessible Information Standard coming into effect five years ago. It was designed to ensure disabled people can receive their health and social care information in a format accessible to them.
As NHS England has started a review into the Standard – set to be completed in March 2022 – we’re asking for people to share their experiences to help us influence this review.
What does the Accessible Information Standard include?
The Standard includes rules about:
how and when health and social care services record your information and communication needs
sharing your information and communication needs across services
how your information and communication needs are met.
The Standard applies to all organisations that offer NHS or Adult Social Care services in England. This includes GP practices, dentists, hospitals and pharmacies.
The Accessible Information Standard states that people in England have the right to accessible information and communication support. This means that if you are blind or partially sighted you can request your health information in your preferred format such as braille, audio or large print.
you can ask for accessible information and communication support at any time
next time you visit your GP, hospital, dentist, or other social care appointment you can ask for the information and communication support you need.
Accessible Information Standard Toolkit
We've put together a helpful toolkit to make sure you get your health information in your format. It includes:
information on the Accessible Information Standard
a guide to requesting accessible information from your GP or hospital clinic
template letters you can use when making your accessible information request
what to do if you continue to receive inaccessible health information.
As UK Government, health officials and businesses grapple with the spread of coronavirus, the outbreak highlights the importance of effective and accessible communication, so everyone knows how to keep themselves and the community safe. Find out more about how to make your digital communications accessible.
Updates about the pandemic
The Government has been revising advice as the situation changes with the coronavirus pandemic.