The Accessible Information Standard (AIS) came into effect on the 1st August 2016. All organisations that provide NHS care and/or publicly-funded adult social care are legally required to follow the AIS. The Standard sets out a specific, consistent approach to identifying, recording, flagging, sharing and meeting the information and communication support needs of patients, service users, carers and parents with a disability, impairment or sensory loss.
All providers of NHS care are required to meet the AIS. The Standard applies to all services users who have information or communication needs as a result of disability, impairment or sensory loss. This includes patients who are:
- Suffering from learning disabilities
The Standard can also be used to support people with:
- Mental health conditions
The AIS is also applicable to parents and carers.
Five Steps of AIS
There are five steps which South Street Medical Centre must take to ensure that the AIS is met. Each step is shown below:
- Identify: How does the service assess for disability related information or communication needs? How does the service find out if people have any of these needs? How does the service plan how it will meet those needs?
- Record: How does the service record those identified needs clearly? What systems are in place as part of the assessment and care planning process?
- Flag: How does the service highlight or flag people’s information and communication needs in their records? This could be in paper or electronic form. The chosen method must make it possible for all staff to quickly and easily be aware of (and work to meet) those needs
- Share: Services sometimes need to share details of people’s information and communication needs with other health and social care services. This means that other services can also respond to the person’s information and communication needs
- Meet: How does the service make sure that it meets people’s needs? How does the service make sure that people receive information which they can access and understand? How does the service arrange communication support if people need it?