Ask Sheila England

Sheila will try to answer as many of your English Social Care questions as possible, giving priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends.

17th September 2020

How do I make sure my care home website meets Accessible Information Standards?

I have a care home and we have our own website but I have been told I need to update it to make sure it meets Accessible Information Standards, what do I need to do. We are commissioned by the Local Authority?

Dear M

Thank you for your email. By law (section 250 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012), all organisations that provide NHS care or adult social care must follow the Standard in full from 1st August 2016 onwards. The Accessible Information Standard aims to make sure that people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss get information that they can access and understand, and any communication support that they need from health and care services. The Standard tells organisations how they should make sure that patients and service users, and their carers and parents, can access and understand the information they are given. This includes making sure that people get information in accessible formats. I have spoken to our legal advisors at Royds Withy King and this is what they have said

The CQC website states that the AIS must be met for anyone who is publicly funded. If no services users are publicly funded, the service provider is exempt. On this reading, services that are commissioned by CCG’s and Social Services (being publicly funded) must comply by 23.September 2020. The Gov. website and s 3 of the regulations (links below) clarify that all public sector bodies (including some charities and non-government organisations) have to meet the requirements unless they are exempt. Exemptions apply for:

-          Non-government organisations unless they are mostly financed by public funding. However, the regulations make it clear that the AIS must be complied with by services that are essential to the public or aimed at disabled people;

-          Public sector broadcasters; and

-          Schools and nurseries (partially exempt).

On the basis that the services you enquired about are publicly funded and provide services aimed at people with disabilities, they must comply by 23.09.2020.

I hope this helps.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

What would you like to ask Sheila?

Sheila Scott OBE from National Care Association (NCA). Care is Sheila’s life; she possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business and as a leader in the care sector.

Sheila will try to answer as many of your questions as possible, giving priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends.

Please note that Sheila can not offer answers to matters requiring legal advice. If your matter concerns a specific service provider, please contact the CQC.

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