The Accessible Information Standard (AIS) is a new standard that must be put in place by all organisations that provide NHS or adult social care. Compliance is mandatory for all GP practices.1
The AIS aims to ensure people who have a disability or sensory loss receive information they can access and understand, for example in large print or braille, as well as professional communication support if they need it, for example from a British Sign Language interpreter.
The Standard requires organisations that provide NHS or adult social care to:
- Ask people if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs
- Record those needs clearly and in a set way – This is clearly documented as an alert within patient records at North Street.
- Highlight or flag the person’s file or notes so it is clear that they have information or communication needs and how to meet those needs
- Share people’s information and communication needs with other providers of NHS and adult social care, when they have consent to do so. At North Street this information is coded and highlighted so that communication to outside agencies such as hospitals are clear on your specific needs.
- Take steps to ensure people receive information they can access and understand, and receive communication support if they need it.
Successful implementation of the AIS will lead to improvements in patient satisfaction and experience, patient safety, outcomes (for example to due to earlier diagnosis and treatment) and patients’ ability to self-care and follow clinical advice.
We have an induction loop available at reception for hearing impaired patients. A hearing loop is a special kind of sound system for use by people with hearing instruments. It consists of a microphone to pick up speech, an amplifier – which processes the signal – and a loop cable which the signal is sent through. The loop cable is a wire placed around the perimeter of specific areas, such as hospitals, churches, service counters in banks or shops, meeting rooms and sometimes around the room in homes where the TV is housed. The wire then acts as an antenna, which sends speech as a magnetic signal to the hearing device.