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Standards for accessible information and communication

Forcing people to contact services by phone, poor deaf awareness and failure to provide communication support may result in missed appointments and ineffective care.

For example, NHS England estimates that the cost of people with hearing loss missing appointments is at least £14m every year.

Under the Equality Act 2010 (and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in Northern Ireland), people have the right to expect reasonable adjustments to be made if they face substantial difficulties accessing NHS and social care services due to their deafness or hearing loss.

This section provides an overview of the national guidance and quality standards that aim to improve the accessibility of NHS and social care services for people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Accessible Communications Policy

The NHS England Accessible Information Standard (AIS) was introduced in July 2016 and applies to all providers of NHS and publicly-funded adult social care.

Read our Accessible Communications Policy

Page last updated: 18 December 2020

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