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Scotland's Biggest Health Board Introduces Communications "Toolkit"

January 20, 2011 3:30 PM

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Scotland’s largest health board is now communicating with all patients better than ever before using a variety of “tools.”

And NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s (NHSGGC) “Accessible Information Policy”. aimed at helping staff develop patient information in a format which best suits an individual’s needs, has the backing of “Big Brother” runner-up and Insight Radio presenter Mikey Hughes.

Mikey (36), who has been blind since he was 23-years-old, said: “It is important that all NHS staff have a basic understanding of various communication needs and to know where to go to help the patient with their request.

“I know I often feel embarrassed having to ask for documents to be sent out in audio CD as it causes extra fuss.

“It is important as a disabled person to be as independent as possible. I don’t like asking for help especially when I think, shouldn’t the organisation be sending out the information in an accessible format to me?”

There is now a legal requirement to produce information in accessible formats and NHSGGC has created a toolkit to make it easier to produce different formats, including plain-speaking information leaflets and booklets in large print, audio-visual or electronic materials, translations into other languages common languages plus in British Sign Language.

Mikey went on: “Ever since I was a toddler I have been in and out of hospital. I am now totally blind and must have had 20 operations so far.

“As an NHSGGC patient with specific access needs I feel I am well versed to help spread the word of the Accessible Information Policy to staff.

“Hopefully the NHSGGC Accessible Information Policy will help to educate and ensure whatever a patient’s communication needs are, they are met, ensuring a better staff and patient experience.”

Catriona Renfrew, NHSGGC’s Director of Corporate Planning and Policy, added:

“Making information more accessible for our patients has long been a priority for NHSGGC.

“This new policy not only offers staff practical guidelines and help about how to communicate better with patients but also encourages them to think about the specific needs of the wide cross section of people who use our services.

“We want consistency in our approach to ensure that everyone provides the same clear messages in a way that is easy to read and understand.

“We want less jargon used in our patient information and we want to make sure that all patient information materials are of the same quality.”
Ends

For further information contact 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]




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