Help us ensure NHS health and social care information is accessible

Post date: 
Wednesday, 29 September 2021
Accessible information
A person has a letter read to her.

You can help us improve the accessibility of health and social care information by taking a survey on the NHS Accessible Information Standard.

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. Our survey has been put together in partnership with SignHealth, Sense, RAD, LDEngland, RNID, HealthWatch and others.

Take The Survey

We’ve been told by blind and partially sighted people that there are several issues with NHS communications, including:

  • Once communication needs are recorded, often this is not being shared with other NHS health or social care services when required.

  • Missed appointments due to not receiving appointment letters in accessible formats.

  • Breaches of confidentiality due to relying on carers, relatives or friends to read appointment letters on a patient’s behalf.

  • Widespread lack of awareness of the Accessible Information Standard among NHS frontline staff.

One person told us:

“I asked someone at my GP surgery to email me my information from now on so that I could read it; she said that my partner could just read the normal letter to me. When I told them about the NHS Information Standard, they didn’t know what I was talking about.”

Another person said:

Being able to read my own prescriptions would seriously improve my ability to manage my health conditions more effectively and safely.

We need you

If you live in England and you, or someone you support, requires health information in an alternative format – such as braille, audio, large print or by email - please take the patient’s part of the survey. You can help us understand what is going well for patients and what changes still need to happen. 

If you are a healthcare professional with experience of putting the standard into practice, please take the professional’s part of the survey. You can help us understand the challenges you face when trying to provide blind and partially sighted people with their health information in a format they can read. 

Take the survey


Further information

If you have any questions or would like to access this survey in an alternative format, please email [email protected]

The data collected in the survey will be stored and used by our partner SignHealth. You will not be asked to provide your name or to identify the NHS service for which you are responding. 

Read more about accessible NHS health and social care information.