Manchester Learning Disabled Patient Journeys in Hospitals report

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Manchester created this "walkthrough" report highlighting access to three outpatient services for people with learning disabilities A walkthrough is a one-off, guided observation & analysis of a health and/or care process or pathway or a transect walk of a patient journey to a service. It does not involve interaction with service users. This report shares the experiences of people with learning disabilities as they navigate through outpatient services in Manchester hospitals. It gives a comparison between three departments in Manchester hospitals and is specifically concerned with how people find their way to them. The walkthrough's took place at Manchester Royal Infirmary and North Manchester General Hospital. Six recommendations were made: 1. Further investigation is required into the factors identified by the walkthroughs. 2. Information production and design needs to involve, or as a minimum consider, people with learning disabilities. Co-production of signage, maps and other information would readily achieve this. 3. The ‘Wayfinder’ Service is welcome in theory but there are major problems with its implementation. There is an urgent need for improved customer service training and a greater awareness of the needs of people with learning disabilities, sensory impairments and mobility issues. 4. Wayfinders also need to be more visible and easier to locate. A permanent presence in reception areas, an easily identifiable uniform or paging system could help resolve this. A dedicated volunteer coordinator is recommended to oversee the day-to-day activity of the Wayfinder Service. 5. Hospital signage is generally inadequate. Improved signage, including larger text, images and maps would be of benefit to a wide range of patients, staff and visitors to hospital. 6. Healthwatch Manchester, as the independent consumer champion for health and social care, needs to either lead or be involved in all of the above.

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General details

Report title 
Manchester Learning Disabled Patient Journeys in Hospitals report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Manchester
Date of publication 
Friday, 24 November, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 5 October, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 11 October, 2017
Type of report 
Service evaluation
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Communication between staff and patients
Health and safety
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of appointment
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Not known
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Learning or understanding or concentrating
Types of long term conditions 
Learning disability

Details of people who shared their views

Age group 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Allied health care professionals
Does the information include other people's views? 
Not known
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.