NHS accessible information standard

People have the right to accessible information and support with communication. Health and social care services must provide this support. This means these organisations must follow the Accessible Information Standard for the NHS.

Aim of the standard

The aim of the accessible information standard is to help people with a disability, an impairment, or a sensory loss. It supports patients, carers, and parents. The standard aims to ensure people’s communication needs are known and met.

The standard says that organisations that give NHS care or adult social care must do the following.

  1. Ask people if they have any communication needs or need to receive information in a certain way.
  2. Make sure everyone’s needs are recorded in the same way and that they are easy to understand.
  3. Make it easy to see when a person has information or communication needs and how those needs can be met.
  4. Share the information with other providers of NHS care and adult social care. This should only happen if they are allowed to see it.
  5. Make sure that people get information in a way they can access and understand. They should also get support with communication if they need it.

Making information accessible

Services should ask people if they need help with communication. For example, people could say they need:

  • to be contacted in a certain way, such as by email, and not by phone
  • to receive information in a different format, like large print
  • communication support, such as a British Sign Language interpreter
  • other support, for instance, hearing aids or lip reading

The Trust aims that people can:

  • get information in a way they can access and understand
  • get support with communication
  • receive easy to understand information
  • have information available in different formats

Around 1 in 5 people in the UK has a disability. Making information accessible is not just good practice; it is the law. Trust services must be accessible to everyone who needs them. This should help to improve people’s health and wellbeing. It should also help to reduce health inequalities.

Cornwall accessible communications group

The Cornwall accessible communications group is a multi-agency group. The group was set up to improve all forms of communication.

The group will:

  • oversee the implementation of the accessible information standard
  • develop consistent standards around accessible information
  • draw on the expertise of voluntary and community sector organisations
  • share examples and good practice
  • act as a critical friend to review resources and ideas

All partners of the Cornwall accessible communications group are committed to:

  • improving communication
  • using plain English
  • enabling access to information in different formats

Accessible communications symbol

The Cornwall accessible communications group developed an accessible communications symbol. The symbol is a picture, which shows examples of formats available. This includes audio files, Braille, and foreign languages.

We hope more organisations will use the symbol. This will make it easy to recognise for anyone with a communication need.

The symbol is available in different picture formats. Email NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board's engagement team.

Accessibility Regulations 2018

The accessibility requirements aim to make online public services accessible to everyone. The regulations aim to improve digital accessibility. We have worked to make our site as accessible as possible for all visitors.

Read more about our accessibility statement and accessibility options.