Accessible Information is defined as information that can be read or received and understood by the patient.
The Accessible Information Standard (AIS) has been introduced to ensure a specific and consistent approach to identifying, recording, flagging, sharing and meeting the information and communication needs of patients, service users, carers and parents where their needs relate to a disability, impairment or sensory loss.
The AIS is particularly relevant to patients who are:
- have a learning disability
It also supports anyone who has information or communication needs relating to a disability, impairment or sensory loss. For example, patients with aphasia or a mental health condition that impacts their ability to communicate.
The standard applies to all providers of NHS and adult social care services including those contracted to provide NHS services likes community pharmacists.
The standard aims to ensure people receive:
- Information in a format they can understand
- Any specific communication support they need.
Improving the communication and provision of information to people with specific needs increases their ability to be involved in decisions relating to their health, care and wellbeing.
The AIS has five steps to ensure information and/or communication needs are identified, recorded, highlighted, shared and met.
Identify if an individual has any communication/ information needs relating to a disability or sensory loss.
Record identified needs in a clear, unambiguous and standardised way.
Ensure recorded needs are 'highly visible' whenever the individual’s record is accessed, providing a prompt for appropriate action.
Include details of identified communication/information needs as part of existing data sharing processes (with patient consent).
Take steps to ensure individuals receive information they can access and understand, along with communication support if they need it.