The Accessible Information Standard gives disabled people and people with sensory loss the right to get healthcare information they can understand and communications support if needed. A survey conducted by HealthWatch between February and May 2022 aimed to investigate whether the standard is being delivered by health services, and whether it offers enough support to patients. While the survey participants were self-selected, their views are likely to reflect those of a significant group of people who need communications support. HealthWatch hopes that the survey's findings will help NHS and social care decision-makers hear what is working and what could be better from the public's perspective.
Understanding information and asking for support
- One in five (20%) said they struggle to understand most of the information given by services.
- Over half (51%) had asked for support to understand information.
- Five in ten (53%) had asked for support to contact services.
- Four in ten (44%) had asked for support to communicate with staff.
- Three in ten (30%) said they rarely or never get the support they need.
- Two in ten (22%) had been refused information in a format they need.
- Over one in four (28%) had been refused support to understand healthcare information
- Over a third (38%) said not being provided with accessible information affected their mental health and wellbeing.
- Nearly half (48%) feel uncomfortable asking for accessible information.
- Over half (53%) said staff attitudes affected their ability to ask for support.
- Nearly half (47%) think how services communicate has got worse since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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