Online Access Guides Produced For NHS Properties

NHS Property Services has partnered with DisabledGo to produce a series of access guides covering a number of its hospitals and other sites, to give people detailed information about how accessible different sites are.

Among the information included in the guides is information about walking distances to toilets, hearing assistance and signage.

They also cover information about car parks, other transport options to get to specific hospitals, and where the main entrance is in relation to other amenities.

Executive director of DisabledGo Anna Nelson explained that being able to access these kinds of guides in advance of a hospital visit can help to reduce “the anxiety of visiting somewhere new and improving patient experience”.

Meanwhile, bosses at Buckinghamshire’s NHS Trust have been finding out what it’s like to visit their hospitals if you have a physical impairment.

Mix 96 revealed that heads at the Trust have been walking around hospitals wearing special training kits, such as heavy, tight vests designed to simulate the feeling of reduced cardiac function, and special glasses that limit vision.

Staff are then taken around the hospital to experience everyday tasks that visitors have to accomplish, such as walking down long corridors and reading signage.

The training is used to not only make staff more aware of what patients experience on a regular basis when they visit hospitals, but to also help them identify areas that need improvement to make the visitor and patient experience better.

Ensuring that directional signage is clear and easy to see even with a visual impairment is one of the things hospitals need to consider when carrying out this kind of exercise.

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