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Health and social care

Making adult social care communications accessible

Making health and social care information accessible

As part of national the ‘accessible information standard' (taking effect in July 2016) which relates to adult social care, we must make sure you can understand the information we give you.

Meeting 'the standard' helps people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss to get clear information and any communication support they need, it covers:

  • patients
  • service users
  • carers
  • parents

Accessible information

We have to provide information in a way you can access and understand, including different formats such as large print, braille, easy read or via email.

Help with communication

We must make sure you get support with communication if you need it, for example a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, deafblind manual interpreter or an advocate.

Accessible information standards

All organisations that provide adult social care, including NHS, Trusts, Foundation Trusts, GP practices and the council, must do five things:

  1. Ask about your information or communication needs, and find out how to meet your needs.
  2. Record those needs clearly and in a set way.
  3. Highlight your file so your needs are clear and others providers of NHS and adult social care know how to meet those needs.
  4. With your permission, share information about your needs with other providers of NHS and adult social care.
  5. Take steps to ensure you receive information you can access and understand, and that you receive communication support if you need it.

Further information

Get more details about the accessible information standard, including the specification and implementation guidance from

Alternative formats

This information is also available in 'Easy Read ' and British Sign Language.

More information and alternative formats will be published on the NHS England website during summer and autumn 2015. Charities including Action on Hearing Loss, CHANGE, Sense, and the Royal National Institute of Blind people (RNIB) will also be publishing information.

Also see