The Accessible Information Standard (AIS)

Accessible Information Standard

NHS England introduced the AIS to help clarify what is reasonable under the Equality Act. It aims to make sure people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss receive information they can easily read or understand, and get support so they can communicate effectively with health and social care services. It covers patients, their parents and carers.

Since 2016, providers of any NHS funded care must, by law:

  1. Identify/ask people if they have any information or communication needs
  2. Find out how to meet their needs.
  3. Record those needs in a clear and consistent way.
  4. Flag their file or notes so it is clear that they have information or communication needs. Record how to meet those needs.
  5. Share people’s information and communication needs with other providers of NHS and adult social care. This is only when they have consent or permission to do so.
  6. Meet needs. Make sure people receive information they can access and understand. They should receive communication support if they need it.

All staff within the Practice will endeavour to ascertain whether patients have specific needs they require meeting in order for them to be fully involved in their care.

This will be done via the New Patient Registration Form and opportunistically during patient contact.

The information will be transferred to the Patient Record to ensure that their specific needs are identified. The patient’s record will be highlighted so it is clear there are information or communication needs and clearly explain what those needs are. This information will be shared with other NHS organisations if the practice has the consent to do so. The practice will make sure patients get information in an accessible way and communication support if they need it. Patients should be aware that this may not be instant and may take some time to organise depending what the request is.

The New Patient Registration Form has a section where patients can alert the practice to any specific needs they may have.

Specific needs include:

  • Sensory impairment, i.e. speech, hearing, sight
  • Physical disability
  • Mental disability
  • Religious or cultural needs
  • Translation/interpretation
  • Allergies and sensitivities
  • Has or is a carer
  • Access to premises
  • Assistance dog
  • Advocacy
  • Phobias

If you are not a new patient or if your needs have changed please do use our Patient Feedback page to tell us about your information or communication needs – or call the practice – so we can update them for you.

At Birchwood we use the Language Empire Group to provide interpreter services. They also provide British Sign Language (BSL) support for patients who wish to contact them. Please click this link for more information and be aware that BSL support can take longer to arrange.