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Involving local people in improving disability access at Royal Bolton Hospital

02/09/15

Local Healthwatch work with Bolton Hospitals Trust to provide consumer insight to highlight accessibility issues at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

We spoke to Healthwatch Bolton to find out more.

How did this issue come about?

We were approached by Bolton Hospitals Trust directly, asking for help in gathering consumer insight from someone with a disability to assess how accessible the Royal Bolton Hospital is. One of our members, who has a disability was more than happy to help. She was taken on a full tour of the hospital site including the car park, main reception, toilets, coffee shop, lift, pharmacy, restaurant, stairwells, pathways, chapel and the Mosque.

She highlighted a number of issues which needed improvement including, inadequate signage, unsuitable doors, unsuitable toilet facilities, space issues and gel dispensers not being positioned at the right height.

What happened as a result?

The Trust has agreed to rectify some of the problems which were highlighted which included: improving signage, replacing and relocating equipment in disabled toilets, automating entrance doors, improving pathways and ensuring that a disabled patient representative is included in all future ward refurbishment schemes.

What feedback have you had so far?

We were really pleased that the Bolton Hospital Trust came to us for advice and to gain patient insight from someone with a disability. The Trust has been positive about working with us, and as a result our member has been asked by the Trust to be involved in more work with the hospital in future.

We’d like to encourage other health and care services to contact their local Healthwatch if they would like to identify any access barriers people may face when trying to use their service. Alternatively, if you’ve faced problems accessing health or care services in your area, contact your local Healthwatch to let them know.

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