News

NHS Property Services accessibly guides for patients and visitors are now live

by Chris Cunniff

New online access guides for a number of NHS Property Services’ hospitals, health centres and clinics have now been launched.

NHS Property Services manages, maintains and improves 3,500 properties across England, working with NHS organisations to create safe, efficient, sustainable and modern healthcare and working environments.

The company partnered with social enterprise, DisabledGo.com to commence a pilot project which involved producing detailed access guides for 30 properties that are owned by NHS Property Services, including; Skipton General Hospital, Farnham Hospital and Sevenoaks Hospital. DisabledGo also provided some advice and guidance on how each property could potentially be improved in future. Talking about the project, Anna Nelson, Executive Director of DisabledGo said: “It has been a privilege to work alongside NHS Property Services colleagues on this project and I would like to thank the whole team for their commitment and vision in commissioning this pilot project. I know that the access guides will make a real difference to patients and visitors to each site, lowering the anxiety of visiting somewhere new and improving patient experience.”

The access guides are now available and will provide a useful resource to disabled people, their carers, friends and family, by detailing how accessible a site is. The guides talk people through the accessibility of the properties, providing information on transport, car parking and main entrances. They also provide further detail on walking distances to toilet locations, fixtures and fittings, dimensions, signage, hearing assistance and lighting.

Stuart Hammerton, Head of Safety at NHS Property Services, said: “We are committed to making all our properties accessible to everyone and we are thrilled to have completed this pilot project with DisabledGo, which is a step in the right direction for improving accessibility information for disabled people and providing a useful resource for all patients, staff and visitors to our buildings.

“We are a national company, managing 10% of the NHS estate. Most of our buildings are used to provide patient care and we identified 30 of these buildings for this pilot. We are now hoping to progress this project further and will be in discussions with DisabledGo to potentially provide access guides for our other sites.”

DisabledGo presented NHS Property Services with a partnership plaque in February 2017 to mark the completion of the pilot project and the launch of the guides on their website.

Anna Nelson, Executive Director at DisabledGo presents Dennis Markey with a partnership plaque

Dennis Markey, Chief Operating Officer at NHS Property Services, received the plaque on behalf of the company. He said: “I am delighted to see this programme of work come to fruition, allowing us to launch our first access guides with DisabledGo.

“Improving the quality of our properties and making services within our facilities accessible to all requires ongoing work and I look forward to continuing to work with DisabledGo to provide independence and choice for anyone visiting our sites.”

To take a look at NHS Property Services new Accessibility Checker, visit: http://www.disabledgo.com/organisations/nhs-property-services/main