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Trust prepares for International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Rachel Carter, Head of Partnerships at AccessAble, with Andrea Arkwright, Head of Patient and Public Engagement, and Debbie Jones, Inclusion and Diversity Lead for Services

At Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust every patient is treated as an individual and we are committed to mainstreaming inclusion and diversity throughout everything we do.

But an extra focus will be placed on these efforts on Monday 3rd December – International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

People with disabilities often face barriers in all aspects of society from their physical environment to ICT and even discrimination.

At WWL we are determined to remove these barriers and have a number of programmes in place to ensure everyone is able to access our services.

One of these programmes is our partnership with AccessAble, previously DisabledGo, a leading provider of accessibility information.

Through these partnerships, patients, staff, and visitors can find out about the access to all Trust buildings including car parking spaces, lift access, hearing loop capabilities and in-depth information about accessible toilets.

This month Andrea Arkwright, Head of Patient and Public Engagement, and Debbie Jones, Inclusion and Diversity Lead for Services, attended the Belong Blind Group in Atherton to find out if they had faced any barriers due to their visual impairment/sight loss.

Overall the group were happy with the services WWL provides and could not praise Trust staff enough.

Attending groups like the Belong Blind Group has a real benefit for the Trust with signage reviews and other improvements being implemented from comments at previous meetings.

Another of these improvements is the introduction of long range pagers to the A&E Department.

The pagers have been specifically implemented for our patients with hearing impairments and vibrate and flash when the patient is ready to be seen after being seated in the waiting area.

The pagers have already been successfully trialled by two patients who provided even more feedback to help improve services even further.

Speaking of the importance of the day Debbie Jones said: “International Day of Persons with Disabilities offers us a great opportunity to reflect and evaluate the way our services are run.

“Engagement is a key part of this and by listening to our patients we can continually try to improve our service so they are accessible to everyone.”

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