Accessible health information

In August 2016, the NHS Accessible Information Standard (DCB1605) was introduced in England.

The Standard should ensure that disabled patients receive health information in formats that they can understand and receive appropriate support to help them to communicate.

Woman uses an tablet to read her information
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.

Your rights

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.

Man with sunglasses on stands behind a section of books labelled large print
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 hosptial clinic
  • template letters you can use when making your accessible information request
  • what to do if you continue to receive inaccessible health information.

Download the Accessible Information Standard toolkit

You can also download the initial 'notify your provider' template letter as an individual document:

Further information