Accessible Information Standard – making it work in Pharmacy

“The Accessible Information Standard prescribes a five step approach to identifying, recording, highlighting, sharing and meeting the information and communication support needs of customers, patients, carers and parents. It applies to anyone with information or communication needs relating to a disability, impairment or sensory loss.”

The Accessible Information Standard tells organisations how they should make sure that disabled patients receive information in formats that they can understand and receive appropriate support to help them to communicate. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • large print
  • communication professional
  • sign language
  • braille
  • easy read
  • hearing loop

As of 31 July 2016, all organisations that provide NHS or publicly funded adult social care must have fully implemented and conform to the Accessible information Standard.

Healthwatch have produced an Accessible Information toolkit which could be useful for gauging how the Accessible Information Standard can be implemented :

Healthwatch Accessible Information Toolkit

The standard has now been applied to all PharmOutcomes services and the manual for how to record information whilst providing these services is available below:


CPPE have produced an e-learning programme for the Accessible Information Standard and it is now available: Accessible Information Standard – making it work : CPPE

The pack takes 1 hour to complete and aims to improve the understanding and skills of community pharmacy teams in implementing the Accessible Information Standard to support people with communication difficulties. It covers:

  • why this is important,
  • how to implement in your pharmacy,
  • producing an SOP and
  • signposts to resources.

PSNC and Pharmacy Voice have worked together to produce this briefing

Further information about the Accessible Information Standard can be found on the NHS England website:

Post-implementation review

In early 2017, NHS England reviewed the Standard to assess the impact and to ensure that it is ‘fit for purpose’. The review looked at:

  • how organisations have implemented the Standard;
  • the impact of the Standard, including organisations’ and service users’ experiences;
  • any aspects of the Standard which need updating or clarifying.

The opportunity to share feedback as part of the review has now closed.

All of the responses received are being analysed and a report will be produced. NHSE expect to publish the report in April / May 2017. Depending on the findings, revised versions of the Specification and / or Implementation Guidance for the Standard might be issued. However, there will be no substantive changes to the overall scope of the Standard.