A new guidance document to help members who provide NHS care in England meet the communication needs of people with learning disabilities, sensory or other impairment has been published by the Society jointly with the NCHA. NHS England’s Accessible Information Standard requires service providers to make “reasonable adjustments” in order to avoid putting a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage when compared with a someone who is not disabled.
The NHS Accessible Information Standard sets out a specific consistent approach to identifying, recording, flagging, sharing and meeting information and communication support needs for NHS hearing care providers.
The Society’s joint guidance helps members understand how they can comply with the standards which came into force on July 31st this year.
1. Ask: always find out if a service user has any information or communication support needs relating to a learning disability, sensory loss or other impairment (e.g. stroke);
2. Record: clearly and consistently record those needs in paper or electronic records;
3. Alert/Flag: ensure that the recorded needs are ‘highly visible’ whenever the individual’s record is accessed;
4. Share: include information about people’s information and communication needs in communications about referral, discharge and handover; and
5. Act: make reasonable adjustments to ensure that people receive information in a format they can understand.