Oxford Health’s new Access Guides aim to make accessing and using services easier

During Disability History Month, Oxford Health has launched 93 online Access Guides to support disabled service users to navigate around trust sites.

Oxford Health’s new Access Guides aim to make accessing and using services easier

The Trust has partnered with AccessAble, the UK’s leading provider of detailed disabled-access information, to produce 93 Access Guides – providing details and photographs to support access to our services, departments and wards.

The occasion was marked with a virtual public engagement event to launch and present the Access Guides. Oxford Health’s Head of Inclusion, Mo Patel was joined by a panel of presenters including AccessAble’s Chief Executive, Anna Nelson and Dean Eales giving a live demonstration.

The individual guides designed to give service users, particularly disabled people, as much access information as possible to helping to make travelling to trust sites and using services easier. They display information on parking, signage and wayfinding, reception areas, accessible toilets and more – including important details which really matter to people with a disability. For example, entrance details, lighting levels and even the height of the wash basin in the toilets, accompanied by a range of photos.

Going to hospital can be worrying and overwhelming for our service users, carers, visitors and even staff. This information will allow our sites to be more accessible, easing anxiety and worry, creating a more positive experience through adapting the environment.

Chief Executive of Oxford Health, Dr Nick Broughton commented: “This is a very important step on our journey as an organisation to become a truly inclusive and diverse place to work and receive care and for that I am very grateful.

“I hope the AccessAble initiative and the guides will help significantly improve the quality of care and the patient experience that our disabled patients and service users have when they come to our sites”.

Mo Patel, Head of Inclusion at Oxford Health said: “Navigating around our sites will now be easier to do thanks to the launch of these Access Guides.

“We know everyone’s accessibility needs are different, which is why having detailed, accurate information is so important. It’s why all of the details you’ll find in the guides have been checked in person, on site, by AccessAble’s trained surveyors.

“It’s been a privilege to partner with AccessAble because we are passionate about meeting the needs of our service users and creating spaces where they feel comfortable.

“We hope these guides provide the information people need about accessibility, making journeys to, from and around our sites easier.”

Dr Gregory Burke, Founder and Chair of AccessAble, said: “We are delighted to launch the Access Guides with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, prioritising accessibility and patient experience, recognising how crucial detailed access information is for disabled patients, visitors and staff.

“Our Access Guides provide information people need about accessibility, so they can plan their visit with confidence because they know what to expect. It’s about treating people with dignity.”

You can view Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Access Guides here: https://www.accessable.co.uk/oxford-health-nhs-foundation-trust.

They are also available via the AccessAble App.

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Published: 1 December 2021