There’s a quiet revolutions going on under our noses in health centres, hospitals and clinics all over the country. It goes by the exciting title of the “Accessible Information Standard” and, in essence, it promises that anyone who has a particular communication need will be able to get health information and advice in the best format for them, by the end of July 2016.
That’s right - if you need letters in braille or large print, that’s how you will get them. If you must have a sign language interpreter at your appointments, one has to be provided. And that will be the law; a statutory obligation!
All health providers should have been planning this since last September at least, and in the next few months they will be asking all their ‘service users’ (or patients) what their communication needs are, so that they can include your needs in their plans. If you haven’t been asked yet, have a word with your doctor’s surgery etc. and find out what they are doing to implement the new Accessible Information Standard.
For more information on this, in lots of formats including BSL, you can go to https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/patients/accessibleinfo-2/patient/