Chief Nurse launches ‘Communication and Information Needs Passport’ for patients

accessible info launch pic
Chief Nurse launches ‘Communication and Information Needs Passport’ for patients
29 September 2016

ELAINE Inglesby-Burke, Chief Nurse at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, has unveiled a new ‘Communication and Information Needs Passport’ for patients, service users, carers and parents at an Accessible Information Standard launch event held at North Manchester General Hospital today.

The new Communication and Information Needs Passport will support the implementation of the Accessible Information Standard by helping health and social care staff easily identify the communication and information needs of patients and service users who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss and will make sure that they can access and understand the information that they are given.

Under the mandatory NHS England Accessible Information Standard, all health and adult social care organisations now have a duty to support those who access their services who may have an information and/or communication need, such as blind or deaf patients.

The Communication and Information Needs Passport is a practical and person-centred way of supporting patients/service users, carers and parents who cannot easily speak for themselves. Passports are a way of pulling complex information together and presenting it in an easy-to-follow format that will help health and social care organisations record and act to meet a person’s communication and information needs.

The launch event took place at North Manchester General Hospital on the morning of 29 September. The agenda for the day included speakers from the Trust including Elaine Inglesby-Burke, Chief Nurse. 

During the event a new Accessible Information Standard Charter was signed by representatives from The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Bury, Oldham and Rochdale Councils; and Bury, Oldham and Heywood, Middleton & Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Groups. By signing up to the charter all of the above organisations agree to implement The Accessible Information Standard and comply with the requirements.

Naheed Nazir, head of equality, diversity & inclusion at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is fully committed to providing accessible services and we believe a patient’s experience must be positive to encourage the patient to continue to use our service.  

“To support this The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is implementing the Accessible Information Standard which aims to make sure that disabled people who are our patients, service users and their carers and parents have access to information that they can understand and any communication support they need.

“To help us meet this need we have led on the development of the Pennine Accessible Information Partnership and the Communication and Information Needs Passport which we are excited to launch today.”

Councillor Jenny Harrison, cabinet member for social care and safeguarding at Oldham Council said:

“This is a great example of partnership working across health and social care organisations aiming to deliver the accessible information standard in a cost effective way whilst ensuring better health and social care for our residents”

Councillor Trevor Holt, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Bury Council, said:

“It is vital that all patients/customers have good communication with health and social care professionals so that they receive the best services and treatment they need and deserve. This passport should help that to happen, and we are delighted to support it.”

Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, Rochdale Borough Council cabinet member with responsibility for adult services, said:

“Rochdale Borough Council is committed to providing our service users with the best possible information, care and support, which is why we are proud to be signing up to this excellent initiative.”  

Under the Accessible Information Standard disabled people who are our patients, service users and their carers and parents must have access to information that they can understand and any communication support they need.

This includes making sure that people get information in different formats if they need it, such as large print, Braille, embossed, easy read, via email and visual/British Sign Language (BSL) etc.

As part of the standard the organisations must do five things:

  1. Ask people if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs
  2. Record those needs in a set way on patient records
  3. Highlight a person’s file, so it is clear that they have information or communication needs, and clearly explain how these should be met
  4. Share information about a person’s needs with other Trust Teams/Departments, NHS and adult social care providers, when they have consent or permission to do so
  5. Act to make sure that people get information in an accessible way and communication support if they need it.

Copies of the Communication and Information Needs Passport can be obtained by contacting Jules Wall by emailing julie.wall@pat.nhs.uk or calling 0161  778  2741. They can also be picked up from Outpatients at any of the Trust’s hospitals, North Manchester General Hospital, The Royal Oldham Hospital, Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, and Rochdale Infirmary. Partner organisations can also supply the passports.

For more information and guidance around the standard you can visit:

The NHS England website: https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/patients/accessibleinfo/

The Pennine Acute Trust’s own Accessible Information Standard web page: http://www.pat.nhs.uk/working-for-us/accessible-information-standard.htm

The Bury Council Accessible Information Standard web page: https://www.theburydirectory.co.uk/kb5/bury/directory/advice.page?id=M7tHLtU5qLo

Oldham Council also has an Accessible Information Standard web page: http://www.oldham.gov.uk/info/200245/disabilities_and_sensory_loss/1624/accessible_information_standard

ENDS

Pictured: ELAINE Inglesby-Burke, Chief Nurse at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

NOTES

What is a Communication and Information Needs Passport?

A Communication and Information Needs Passport is a practical and person-centred way of supporting patients/service users, carers and parents who cannot easily speak for themselves. Passports are a way of pulling complex information together and presenting it in an easy-to-follow format that will help health and social care organisations record and act to meet a person’s communication and information needs.

The Communication and Information Needs Passport aims to:

  • Present the person positively as an individual, not as a set of 'problems' or disabilities;
  • Provide a place for the person's own views and preferences to be recorded and drawn to the attention of others;
  • Describe the person's most effective means of communication and how others can best communicate with, and support the person;
  • The passport is owned by the individual and not by professionals.

Who needs one?

The Communication and Information Needs Passports can be used for any patient/service user, carer or parent in line with the Accessible Information Standard. They should be reviewed at least once a year or every six months if the child is very young.

Where can they be used?

The passport should go to all health and social care appointments.

The advantage of the Communication and Information Needs Passports is that they are easy to read, informative and useful.

Who should fill in the passport?

This should be completed ideally by the person who has the communication and information need or their carer, family member or advocate. If necessary a member of staff should help the individual to complete the passport.