Everyone should have equal access to high quality healthcare. Services must be accessible and personalised so that people can be independent, healthy and fully engaged in their health.


It’s essential that healthcare services are accessible for people who are deafblind or have complex needs so that they are able to access services, communicate with healthcare professionals and receive information about their health. There are many steps that healthcare providers should take to make their services more accessible to people with complex communication needs – including assessing the physical environment, using good communication tactics, and making their documents accessible.  Much of this is covered by The Accessible Information Standard. 

We work to ensure that national health policy considers the accessibility needs of people who are deafblind or have complex needs.  As well as the day to day access to healthcare services we also influence policy and decisions around health inequalities and changes to national service delivery and commissioning.   

What we're calling for

  • Disabled people to be at the heart of any reform of healthcare, so that they are given the opportunity to shape a system that reflects their needs and experiences. 
  • Health and social care providers to commit to providing accessible services, including full implementation of the Accessible Information Standard. 
  • Better integration between health, social care, housing and employment services and initiatives. 

What we've achieved

Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the way that healthcare services can be delivered.  Accessibility and availability of healthcare services has been a key focus of our policy and campaigns work during this time.  Find out more about our influencing work during Covid-19. 

We work as part of the Complex Needs Consortium in the Health and Wellbeing Alliance to support and influence policy and decision makers.  Recent areas of work include the NHS Long Term Plan, changes to the Mental Capacity Act and NHS England work on health inequalities. 

Sense supported NHS England on the development of the Accessible Information Standard. and we continue to raise awareness of the need for services to implement it fully.   

Our 'Equal access to healthcare' report outlines the personal experiences that people who are deafblind have faced when accessing healthcare, from the positives to the negatives. It also includes examples of best practice, hints and tips on accessible healthcare and information on the Accessible Information Standard.