Accessible Information Standard (AIS) letters now available for patients

15 Nov 2023, 5:05 p.m.

Letters from Gloucestershire Hospitals that meet the needs of every patient are now more easily available, thanks to a project led by our digital and patient experience teams


To get letters sent to you in a format that meets your needs, please mention this to our reception staff when you next attend a hospital appointment.

We want every patient’s experience of using our hospital services to be positive. We strive to ensure that all of our patients, their families, carers and friends feel confident in our services. This includes making sure that when people receive letters with important information like appointments, referrals and results, these are provided in a format that meets their needs.

The options for patient letters from Gloucestershire Hospitals now include Large Print format, Braille and Easy Read versions. Patients should only need to request this once as their communication needs will be marked in their Electronic Patient Record (EPR).

One in five people in the UK are reported to have a disability, making accessibility an essential consideration for all health services, online journeys and websites.

Requesting AIS letters

To get letters sent to you in a format that meets your needs, you simply have to mention this to our reception staff when you next attend a hospital appointment. Alternatively, you can speak to your consultant's secretary or booking team to ensure that your records are updated.

If you feel that you are not getting the support you need, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team.

About the Accessible Information Standard

The Accessible Information Standard (AIS) means that all NHS Trusts must ensure that patients, carers and parents of patients, and visitors who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss receive information they can access and understand. We strive to ensure that information is given in the appropriate format and all patient information is produced according to accessibility standards. This includes:

  • large font patient letters and patient information
  • verbal and visual communication support 
  • patient information and patient letters in braille
  • personalised communication for people with a learning disability

The majority of our patient information leaflets are now available online in an accessible format, which means that people who are visually impaired or have sensory loss can use a screen reader to read the information to them. Being online, the information can be increased to any required size. We also strive to ensure that all our information, even complex information, is communicated in a way that results in accurate, clear and concise content.

We're also working to ensure that the website is as accessible as possible for every user. You can read more about what we're doing in our Accessibility Statement

The NHS is founded on a commitment to the principles of equal and equitable access to healthcare and this is something we take very seriously. We are constantly striving to ensure that our services and our communications to patients are accessible to everyone and, as such, I am delighted that our teams have worked so hard to deliver this important step on our journey.

Deborah Lee, Chief Executive