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Local Healthwatch highlights importance of making publications accessible

03/11/15

With the accessible information standard due to come into force next year, we look what one Healthwatch is doing to make their work more accessible

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We spoke to Healthwatch Sandwell to find out more.

How did this issue come about?

As part of our work looking at the delivery and quality of care provided at homes in Sandwell, we visited Ascot House care home to understand the experiences of residents and relatives, identify examples of good practice and highlight any areas of concern.

Following our visit, we shared a report outlining our findings with the manager of Ascot House and the relevant service commissioners.

The home caters for people who have learning difficulties and/or mental health conditions. The residents are involved in decision making wherever possible and are often given easy read versions of their care plans to comment on and suggest changes. 

This is why the manager of Ascot House asked for us to provide an easy read version of our report so that staff could share it with those residents requiring this format.

What happened as a result?

We don’t often get requests for easy read versions of our publications, but we were more than happy to provide a short analysis of the report with images that are easy to understand. We have since shared this with Ascot House who have given really positive feedback and have asked for hard copies to share more widely.

Now all residents and relatives of those at Ascot House care home will be able to see what we found from our visit.

Have you had any feedback about this?

We have had some positive feedback from local groups and on social media. It is vital to get the views of people using services in Sandwell but being able to share the results with them is just as important too. This has given us the opportunity to look at how we can make our information accessible to everyone and ensure that we are as inclusive as possible.

We urge other organisations across health and care to think about how they communicate with their communities, and to make sure that their information is clear and accessible for everyone.

 Take a look at Healthwatch Sandwell's easy read report.

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