Accessible Information Standard

Introduction and background

The Accessible Information Standard (AIS) is a new mandatory information standard for implementation by all GP practices by 31st July 2016

The AIS aims to ensure that people who have a disability or sensory loss receive information that they can access and understand (for example in large print, braille or via email and professional communication support if they need it such as an interpreter or sign language interpreter.

The standard directs and defines a specific, consistent approach to identifying, recording, flagging, sharing and meeting the information and communication support needs of patients, service users, carers and parents, where those needs relate to a disability, impairment or sensory loss.

It is particularly relevant to individuals who are blind, deaf, deafblind and/or have a learning disability, although it will support anyone with information or communication needs relating to a disability, impairment or sensory loss, for example those who have a mental health condition which affects their ability to communicate.


This policy applies to all staff working in the practice so they are aware of their responsibilities to all our patients. All staff within the Practice will endeavour to ascertain whether patients have specific needs they require in order for them to be fully involved in their care.

This will be done via the New Patient Registration Form and opportunistically during patient contact.

The New Patient Registration Form has a section where patients can alert the practice to any specific needs they may have.

Specific needs include:

  • Sensory impairment, i.e. speech, hearing, sight
  • Physical disability
  • Mental disability
  • Religious or cultural needs
  • Translation/interpretation
  • Allergies and sensitivities
  • Has or is a carer
  • Access to premises
  1. The information will be transferred to the Patient Record to ensure that their specific needs are identified
  2. The patient’s record will be highlighted so it is clear there are information or communication needs and clearly explain what those needs are
  3. This information will be shared with other NHS organisations, when required, if the practice has the consent to do so.
  4. The practice will make sure patients get information in an accessible way and communication support if they need it

Patients should be aware that this may not be instant and may take some time to organise depending what the request is

Meeting the needs of our patients

Hilltop Medical Practice will endeavour to provide one or more communications or contact methods which are accessible to and useable by the patient, service user, carer or parent.  The method must enable the individual to contact the service and staff MUST use this method to contact the individual.


  1. Web-site to be updated to advise of Introduction of AIS
  2. Notices to be displayed on patient noticeboard
  3. All receptionists to be briefed
  4. Report to be run to identify all patients that may have accessibility issues. Individuals most likely to be affected by the Standard include people who are blind or deaf, who have some, hearing or visual loss, people who are deafblind and people with a learning disability. However, this list is not exhaustive.  The report will be run every 6 months.
  5. Ensure that we have a method of obtaining leaflets in Braille.
  6. Ensure all leaflets for any campaigns eg Flu are also available in an easy-read version with large font
  7. Ensure that we always have the hearing aid loop on at the main reception desk and that is visible and available at all times
  8. Any appointments for patients with these needs, should always be a double appointment
  9. Guide dogs should be welcomed into the surgery and accommodated within the consulting rooms