Visitors, patients and staff will be able to find out more about the accessibility of hospital buildings and services with a new web tool.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is working with the national not for profit organisation AccessAble to create an accessibility checker on all public areas of its hospitals.
The online resource will be completely free to use and is being created by AccessAble. A surveyor will be personally visiting and assessing every area of ULHT hospitals over the coming months to ensure accurate, detailed information is collected.
The information, including details of whether accessible parking bays are available, how far you would need to walk to get to an entrance, if a hearing loop is available at reception, if background music is played, if flashing fire alarms are available and if there are places to sit and rest, will then be published on the AccessAble website, and be available on the departmental pages on the UHLT website, from March 2017.
Anna Nelson, Executive Director at AccessAble said: “We are thrilled to be working with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust to produce comprehensive accessibility information to all of the Trust’s hospitals. We know that visiting hospital can sometimes be a daunting and stressful experience. We believe this information will make a big difference to disabled people, older people and carers who need to know more about the facilities on offer.
“The Trust is the first in the area to commission this work, which is a clear demonstration of their commitment to improving patient experiences.”
Sharon Kidd, Patient Experience Manager at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with AccessAble to produce the new online accessibility guides for all of our hospitals.
“The guides will be very useful for our visitors, patients and staff with access concerns, as they will provide information in advance so that they can feel confident and more at ease using our hospitals. The provision of access guides will not only assist people with disabilities, but also older people, carers, people with young children and our patients with a temporary illness or mobility impairment, who will need to know more about the physical facilities of our hospitals.”
The project will be launched at a series of public events during October, where people can come to give their feedback on accessibility of hospital services.
Monday 31 October
2.30pm – 3.30pm
Committee Room 1, Pilgrim Hospital Boston.
Tuesday 1 November
10am – 11am
Meeting Room 3, Grantham and District Hospital.
Tuesday 1 November
2.30pm – 3.30pm
Trust Board Room, Lincoln County Hospital.
If you wish to attend any of the event, please contact AccessAble on (01438) 842710 at firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07908 129952
AccessAble is a social enterprise; it works across the UK to tackle social isolation and inequality through better information provision. Set up in 2000 the organisation was founded by wheelchair user, Dr. Gregory Burke, in response to the frustrations he faced trying to access new places. Gregory found a complete lack of information about the areas he wanted to visit, and when he rang to ask for details the information he was given was often wrong or not detailed enough for him to feel confident.
AccessAble’s accessibility checking website www.disabledgo.com aims to answer everyone’s questions about places they need or want to visit. It has been developed by the disabled people who use it, reflecting the needs of people with a wide range of impairments. Currently the website features over 125,000 venues. Crucially, each place featured has been personally visited and assessed by one of AccessAble’s surveyors to ensure accurate, detailed information is collected.