Healthwatch Wokingham are aware that currently some vulnerable people are finding it more difficult than usual to access the information they need to stay healthy.
July 31st marks the anniversary of the Accessible Information Standard being introduced. This has made a difference to the lives of many vulnerable people in (insert name of Borough)
Any group that provides NHS Health or Social Care support needs to take steps to ensure that all people can access the information they need to stay healthy. https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/08/accessible-information-standard/
As part of the Accessible Information Standard, organizations that provide NHS or adult social care must do five things.
· Ask people if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs
· Record those needs in a set way
· Highlight a person’s file, so it is clear that they have information or communication needs, and clearly explain how those needs should be met
· Share information about a person’s needs with other NHS and adult social care providers, when they have consent or permission to do so
· Make sure that people get information in an accessible way and communication support if they need it
Through public engagement/ survey/ helpdesk Healthwatch Wokingham have identified the following areas where the public have difficulty accessing up to date information:
- Hospital service changes
- GP service changes
- Dental service changes
- Information for the deaf, blind or those with learning disability.
During the Covid-19 pandemic services have needed to change quickly and communicate these updates to the public remotely which has presented challenges for those people with additional needs. Healthwatch Wokingham are involved in a project alongside CLASP (a local group for adults with a Learning Disability) to review the information provided on GP and dental websites and share best practice.
The following national organizations provide information in formats that can help those who may find it difficult to access standard communications about Covid-19.
British Sign Language https://signhealth.org.uk/resources/coronavirus/
Easy read resources https://www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/coronavirus-covid-19
Latest NHS guidance translated into 60 languages https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information/
Royal National Institute for the Blind https://www.rnib.org.uk/coronavirus-updates
Links to local Wokingham support organizations:
Reading Deaf Centre https://readingdeafcentre.co.uk/
CLASP self advocacy group for people with learning disability https://wokinghamclasp.org.uk/
Promise Inclusion - Supporting adults and children with learning disability https://promiseinclusion.org/about-us/
Berkshire Vision https://berkshirevision.org.uk/