Visionary and partners call for urgent measures to ensure health information is accessible

More than five years since the introduction of the NHS England Accessible Information Standard, only one in 10 patients with communication needs, including blind and partially sighted patients, get equitable access to healthcare and health information.

Visionary has worked with SignHealth, RNIB, RNID, Learning Disability England, Helathwatch England and other organisations to report on the implementation of the NHS Accessible Information Standard.  Our research findings show patients are experiencing a failure to implement the Standard across the NHS.  The final report shares recommendations which outline urgent steps required to meet the communication and information needs of patients.

The full report, Word Doc, is available via the ink below:

Review of the NHS Accessible Information Standard 2022 Text only Word (DOCX, 55 KB)

The full report, PDF doc, is available via the link below:

Review of the NHS Accessible Information Standard – FINAL (PDF, 694 KB)

Key findings

The research was conducted via an anonymous survey of disabled patients, and health and social care professionals. Key findings, outlined in the report, include:

  • Blind and partially sighted patients routinely receive printed letters and leaflets about their condition which they cannot read, often after requests for other communication methods.
  • Three quarters of people with accessible information needs said they rarely or never receive health information in alternative formats.
  • A lack of accessible methods for contacting GP surgeries was a frequently reported barrier for patients.
  • Over one third (37 per cent) of healthcare professionals surveyed said they have never, or only once, received any training linked to the Accessible Information Standard, despite it being introduced in 2016.

A summary and outline of the urgent priorities can also be accessed via this link to a YouTube video featuring BSL:

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