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NHS Kernow’s website closed on 30 June 2022. Visit the NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board website for information about our health and care services.

NHS accessible information standard

People have the right to accessible information and support with communication. Health and social care services must provide this support and follow the Accessible Information Standard.

Aim of the standard

The aim of the standard is to help people with a disability, an impairment, or a sensory loss. It supports patients, carers, and parents. The standard aims to ensure people’s communication needs are known and met.

The standard says that organisations that give NHS or adult social care must:

  1. Ask people if they have any communication needs or need to receive information in a certain way.
  2. Make sure everyone’s needs are recorded in the same way and that they are easy to understand.
  3. Make it easy to see when a person has information or communication needs and how those needs can be met.
  4. Share the information with other providers of NHS and adult social care (this should only happen if they are allowed to see it).
  5. Make sure that people get information in a way they can access and understand, and get support if they need it.

Making information accessible

Services should ask people if they need help with communication. For example, people could say they need:

  • to be contacted in a certain way, such as by email, and not by phone
  • to receive information in a different format, such as large print
  • communication support, such as a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter
  • other support, such as hearing aids or lip reading

NHS Kernow aims that people can:

  • get information in a way they can access and understand
  • get support with communication
  • receive easy to understand information
  • have information available in different formats

Around 1 in 5 people in the UK has a disability. Making information accessible is not just good practice, it is the law. NHS Kernow’s services must be accessible to everyone who needs them. This helps to improve people’s health and wellbeing. It should also help to reduce health inequalities.

Cornwall accessible communications group

A multi-agency group set up to improve all forms of communication.

The group will:

  • oversee the implementation of the Accessible Information Standard
  • develop consistent standards around accessible information
  • draw on the expertise of voluntary and community sector organisations
  • share examples and good practice
  • act as a critical friend to review resources and ideas

All partners of the group are committed to:

  • improving communication
  • using plain English
  • enabling access to information in different formats

Accessible communications symbol

Developed by the Cornwall accessible communications group, the symbol is an image which shows examples of formats available. This includes audio files, Braille, and foreign languages.

We hope more organisations will use the symbol, as it will make it easier for anyone with a communication need to recognise the symbol.

We can supply the symbol in different formats. Email our engagement team if you would like to use the symbol.

Accessibility Regulations 2018

The accessibility regulations aim to make online public services accessible to everyone. We have worked to make this website as accessible as possible for all visitors.

Read more about our accessibility statement and options.

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