The Accessible Information Standard was implemented on 31 July 2016 its aims to provide people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss with information that they can easily read or understand. This meant a dialogue with individuals and organisations around making sure people with varying communication needs can access information in different formats, for example in large print, braille or via a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter. All organisations that provide NHS or adult social care are required to follow the Standard, including NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts, and GP practices.
In implementing the Standard, applicable organisations are required to complete five distinct stages or steps leading to the achievement of five clear outcomes:
- Identification of needs
- Recording of needs
- Flagging of needs
- Sharing of needs
- Meeting of needs
In July 2017 the Accessible Information Standard Post-Implementation Review – Report was published. Prior to this NHS England led a post-implementation review of the Standard, with the aim of assessing its impact and ensuring that it is, and continues to be, ‘fit for purpose’.
Feedback received as part of the review informed the following amendments, clarifications and / or the inclusion of additional guidance as part of the reissued Specification and / or Implementation Guidance:
- Supporting mental health service users with communication needs.
- The use of email to communicate with patients / service users.
- Website accessibility.
- Flagging requirements / the definition of ‘highly visible’.
- Recording of needs in non-coded systems.
- Support for people with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia (as distinct to learning disabilities).
The Regulatory Bodies
In terms of measuring success, CQC have set the ambitious target that, “From October 2017, all inspection reports include how providers are applying the standard.”
The CCGs Role
The report highlighted the importance of CCGs’ role in monitoring implementation of the Standard by providers as well as the positive impact of partnership approaches, looking at implementation across a local area. Recommendations included promoting good practice and raising awareness of available tools and resources to support implementation.
Read more about the NHS Accessible Information Standard including Implementation Guidance.
Publishing AIS Information
If you would like to receive material from the Staffordshire 6 CCGs websites or our key publications in another format – such as audio, Clear Information, Easy Read, British Sign Language, interpreter services, large print, or Braille – please contact the general reception number and speak to any member of the administration team - 01782 298002 or use ‘Next Generation Text’ service for deaf and hard of hearing patients, carers and staff.
Staffordshire CCGs want our patients, carers, staff and partner organisations to be able to understand our information in the format that is most accessible to their individual needs. This includes identifying and reasonably removing ‘barriers’ for people accessing our information, services, premises, any employment or engagement opportunities. This may involve responding to our anticipatory equality duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’, from requests received.
This Equality and Inclusion Strategy will also become available on the CCG websites in summarised Easy Read format.