Alternative formats policy
Our revised policy on the production of information in other formats and languages has now been finalised.
Our policy focuses on the publications that are produced by us, on behalf of the Scottish Government Health Directorates, for the NHS in Scotland.
What formats will we produce information in?
We will produce our information in the formats listed below. Most of these formats are already available in the patient information section of our site and we are working towards making the others available.
- Standard leaflets in clear print in English;
- Large print versions in English;
- Easy read versions with illustrations for people with a learning disability;
- British Sign Language versions on DVD;
- Audio versions in English;
- Accessible web-based information;
- Translated information in: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Lithuanian, French, Hindi, Polish, Russian, and Urdu.
If you are a member of NHS staff and you receive a request for information (written or spoken) in a language that we don't routinely provide, please refer the request on to us. You should do this either by completing this online request form, or by downloading the form as a Word document and printing it out. Or contact us for more information.
Why have we reviewed our policy?
Our initial policy was drawn up in April 2004. We decided to review it to take into account our experience of producing information in different formats. For example, at the end of 2005, we carried out an evaluation to find out how NHS boards have used the alternative formats for our first two leaflets 'Confidentiality - it's your right' and 'How to see your health records'. You can see the report of our findings in the evaluation reports section.
We had very few difficulties in implementing our policy in relation to providing information for people with learning difficulties, low literacy levels, or sensory impairment. But, we had more difficulty with knowing how to meet the needs of people from black and ethnic minority communities, refugees and asylum seekers, and migrant workers from Eastern Europe.
We also wanted to consider the implications of demographic changes within the Scottish population.
How did we review our policy?
We set up a second short-life working group, made up of members from a range of organisations. This group met on three occasions to discuss a number of issues arising from questions we had raised. The focus was on issues relating to languages, and the group made workable suggestions to help us improve our existing language strategy.
Minutes from each of the meetings are available in this section.
If you would like any more information about this please contact us.
Page last edited: 18 October 2011