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Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commisioning Group

Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commisioning Group

Accessible Information Standard

The Accessible Information Standard aims to make sure that disabled people have access to information that they can understand and any communication support they might need.

The standard tells organisations how to make information accessible to patients, service users and their carers and parents. This includes making sure that people get information in different formats if they need it, such as large print, braille, easy read, and via email. Organisations must follow the standard in full by 31 July 2016. 

The Accessible Information Standard also tells organisations how to support people’s communication needs, for example by offering support from a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, deafblind manual interpreter or an advocate.  As part of the standard organisations that provide NHS or social care must do five things. They must: 

  • Ask people if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs
  • Record those needs in a set way
  • Highlight a person’s file, so it is clear that they have information or communication needs, and clearly explain how these should be met
  • Share information about a person’s needs with other NHS and adult social care providers, when they have consent or permission to do so
  • Act to make sure that people get information in an accessible way and communication support if they need it.

Please find a link to our Accessible Information Website for information here.

Further information on the Accessible Information Standard can be found on the NHS England website.

What we’re doing to implement the Accessible Information Standard

There are two elements to how the CCG ensures the Standard is being adhered to; through our work with our member practices and working with our secondary care providers.

GP practices

The obligations of the Accessible Information Standard and the five ‘must do’s’ detailed in the summary from NHS England are actions that GP practices already do through their normal practice and engagement with patients.

All GP practices across Newcastle and Gateshead abide by the accessible standards legislation and if a patient flags up an accessibility issue or a practice is aware of one from their records, then the practice updates the clinical systems to ensure patients are cared for.

The introduction of the Accessible Information Standard will enable greater awareness of patient’s rights for accessing information, hopefully reducing the number of people who may not be currently receiving the information they need, in the way they need it.

Secondary Care

The CCG has a responsibility to check whether the secondary care providers we commission are aware of the standard and are implementing it. This is an area of discussion at our Quality Review Group meetings that we have with our providers – Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

Accessible information Standard review report

During January-March 2017, NHS England led a review of the Standard to assess impact and check that it is ‘fit for purpose’. Over 1600 people had their say and a report has now been published, and is available from the NHS England website (www.england.nhs.uk/accessibleinfo) in a range of formats including:

Accessible Information Standard Review Report (Word)

Accessible Information Standard Review Report (British Sign Language video with subtitles)

Accessible Information Standard Review Report (Easy Read)

The report is also available on request as a paper copy, including in large print and easy read, in braille, on audio CD and BSL DVD.

If you have any queries, or would like to request a copy of the report in an alternative format, please contact england.patientsincontrol@nhs.net. Patients, service users, carers and members of the public can also call 0300 311 22 33.