Accessible Information Standards Policy


Accessible Information Standard



Purpose and Definition


The Accessible Information Standard directs and defines a specific, consistent approach to identifying, recording, flagging, sharing and meeting individuals’ information and communication support needs by NHS and adult social care service providers.

 The aim of this Standard is to establish a framework and set a clear direction such that patients and service users (and where appropriate carers and parents) who have information or communication needs relating to a disability, impairment or sensory loss receive:


  • ‘Accessible information’ (‘information which is able to be read or received and understood by the individual or group for which it is intended’); and


  • ‘Communication support’ (‘support which is needed to enable effective, accurate dialogue between a professional and a service user to take place’);


Such that they are not put “at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled” when accessing NHS or adult social services. This includes accessible information and communication support to enable individuals to:


  • Make decisions about their health and wellbeing, and about their care and treatment;

  • Self-manage conditions;

  • Access services appropriately and independently; and

  • Make choices about treatments and procedures including the provision or withholding of consent.


Scope: Required Activities


In implementing the Standard, applicable we are required to complete five distinct stages or steps leading to the achievement of five clear outcomes:


  1. 1. Identification of needs: a consistent approach to the identification of patients’, service users’, carers’ and parents’ information and communication needs, where they relate to a disability, impairment or sensory loss.


  1. 2. Recording of needs: a. Consistent and routine recording of patients’, service users’, carers’ and parents’ information and communication needs, where they relate to a disability, impairment or sensory loss, as part of patient / service user records and clinical management / patient administration systems; b. Use of defined clinical terminology, set out in four subsets, to record such needs, where Read v2, CTV3 or SNOMED CT® codes are used in electronic systems; c. Use of specified English definitions indicating needs, where systems are not compatible with any of the three clinical terminologies or where paper based systems / records are used; d. Recording of needs in such a way that they are ‘highly visible’.


  1. Flagging of needs: establishment and use of electronic flags or alerts, or paper based equivalents, to indicate that an individual has a recorded information and / or communication need, and prompt staff to take appropriate action and / or trigger auto-generation of information in an accessible format / other actions such that those needs can be met.


  1. Sharing of needs: inclusion of recorded data about individuals’ information and / or communication support needs as part of existing data-sharing processes, and as a routine part of referral, discharge and handover processes.


  1. Meeting of needs: taking steps to ensure that the individual receives information in an accessible format and any communication support which they need.




Identification and Recording of needs


  1. i) On registering a patient will be asked: “Do you have any specific communication needs”. This is on the registration form and slips available in the Reception/waiting room areas.


Responses are coded as below:

XaI8X    Interpreter required (if first language not English)

XaLTC    Requires British Sign Language interpreter

Xad6e   Requires contact via carer

XaYB0  Requires information in Easy Read format

Xabsb   Requires information in Grade 1 (uncontracted) Braille

Xabsa   Requires information in Grade 2 (contracted) Baille  

Xabse   Requires written communication via email

Xabsc   Requires written communication via SMS (text)

XaPSp  Requires written information in large font

XaPSq  Requires information verbally (telephone)


The following code should be added to every new patient record to show that we have asked whether they have any communication needs, even if they have no additional needs:


Y2830 Communication discussed



A high priority reminder needs to be added as well so that it is obvious when accessing their record. e.g. “Patient requires communication in large print” (this only needs to be added to patients WITH communication needs). This will be done by the Registrations Clerk(s).

  1. ii) Patient already registered can tell us about their specific communication requirements through the below means:



  • Clinicians (GPs, Pharmacists, Nurses, HCAs and Phlebotomists) should be made aware of needs during routine consultations.

  • Message on Practice Website




Flagging of needs


High priority reminders will flag when a medical record is opened or an appointment is booked.


Whenever an individual letter is sent to a patient High priority reminders need to be checked to ensure that the correct method of communication is used.


If a reminder is present on the patient’s Home Screen regarding communication needs, the method of communication must be appropriate for that patient.







Where specific communication needs are identified, an appropriate means of meeting these requirements is to be agreed with the patient to ensure that information can be made accessible. 

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