Accessibility checklist for GP surgeries

Help make sure that your practice meets patient's accessibility requirements by using this quick checklist.
A woman sits at a table looking at the camera

Imagine that you are going through the same journey as your patients – what would help ensure that your care needs are met?

While budget and space are often issues when making large scale changes, there are some steps that surgeries can take to improve the experience patients have.

Although this checklist does not cover every aspect of accessibility good practice, it provides a starting point for discussion and planning to make improvements.

I couldn’t enter the consulting room to speak to my GP as I couldn’t get my wheelchair through the door so I had to have my consultation with the GP with me sitting outside in the corridor.
— A patient story from Slough

Things to consider

Outside space

  • Is there disabled parking?
  • Is there enough space for a disabled person to exit a car safely?
  • Is the path to the surgery accessible to people with limited mobility or sensory impairment?
  • Are handrails placed on both sides of slopes leading to an entrance door?
  • Is the route from the entrance into the surgery free of obstacles?
  • What size is the entrance, is it suitable for wheelchair access?

Toilets

  • Are any signs for disabled toilets at eye level?
  • Is there enough leg space under the sink?
  • Are sink taps levers?
  • Is there a caution sign for very hot water?
  • Are paper and soap dispensers, as well as hand dryers at a suitable height?
  • What size is the entrance, is it suitable for wheelchair access?
  • Do you have a procedure to follow when someone falls?

Seating, signs and fire exits

  • Is seating available in a choice of heights?
  • Are the fire exits accessible by wheelchair?
  • Is there LED signage/clear microphone for signaling patients?

Communication

  • When new patients register with your service, do you ask if they have any communication needs, and how these needs can be met? 
  • Is there a hearing loop?
  • Is information available in different formats, such as large print or braille?
  • Is the counter height accessible to wheelchairs?
  • Is there a quiet space and buzzer system for people who may experience sensory overload?
  • Do you publicise to patients that a quiet space can be given upon request?
  • Find out more about the Accessible Information Standard and how you can meet those requirements here

Download the full checklist

Do you work in a GP surgery? Take a moment to assess your GP practice for accessibility.

Talk to your local Healthwatch

If you have come up against accessibility barriers with your local GP and struggled to resolve them, get in touch with your local Healthwatch.

Talk to your local Healthwatch 

*Article based on GP accessibility checklist from Healthwatch Slough and recommendations from our accessible information campaign

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