Healthcare Accessible Information Standard (AIS) is here

7 July 2015

An Information Standards notification and the release of formal documentation, confirmed the arrival this month of the healthcare accessible information standard (AIS), officially known as SCCI1605 - Accessible Information.

The authorising body was the Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI), with several members of BCS Health contributed to consultations and technical developments and a member of BCS Digital Accessibility specialist group forming part of the advisory group.

Publicly-funded care providers have a year to develop support for patients, carers and parents with special communication needs due to disability, impairment or sensory loss. This includes providing documents in alternative formats and simplified communication channels (like email and texting). It also means assistance with face-to-face communications (such as sign language).

GP surgeries, hospitals, social care providers, public health programmes and high street practitioners (including pharmacies, optometrists and dentists) are all implicated. AIS will also be reflected in commissioning contracts and service quality reviews.

BCS will support current priorities, converting the necessarily formal AIS documentation into simpler guidance through our publications.

Behind AIS is the hope for engagement and participation for all. The wider vision is for healthcare to be the underpinning model for accessibility across all sectors of society.

Further reading