Voices to be Heard, a committee of adults with learning disabilities supported by the charity Hft, have given their views as part of an NHS review into the Accessible Information Standard.

The Accessible Information Standard was published by NHS England, following approval as a new ‘information standard’ for the NHS and adult social care system, in July 2015. Over 20 members of Voices to Be Heard took the opportunity to respond to the survey. Whilst many noted that the new standard had improved their overall understanding, there were still concerns that people were missing out on important information, particularly when receiving medical care in hospitals.

Cynthia Webb, convener of Voices to be Heard, commented:

“The Accessible Information Standard was designed to ensure that people with disabilities and their carers have access to clearer health information. Whilst we are pleased to see that many members of Voices to be Heard are receiving improved care from their GPs, it is worrying that many are still not completely understanding the information they are being given in hospital visits.

“We hope that this consultation will encourage the Department of Health to review how information is presented to people with learning disabilities, and that NHS staff are sufficiently trained to be confident to meet their communications needs.

“Hft is committed to ensuring that the people we support play an active role in civil society, and so we were delighted that Voices to be Heard has an opportunity to respond to this important survey.”

More information about Hft can be found at www.hft.org.uk.