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New accessible information measures for patients

August 02, 2012 11:55 AM

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Scotland’s largest health board is reminding patients and their carers of their right to ask for information in the most accessible format that suits them.

As part of a new accessible information awareness campaign NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is particularly targeting patient groups with specific communication needs such as those with sensory impairment, learning difficulties, literacy issues and those with English as a second language.

The campaign ties in with the roll out of a new Accessible Information Policy which ensures that patients who need information in braille, large print, audio or any other language can get it quickly and easily. 

The new policy has been welcomed by a number of support organisations and partners including leading charity for hearing impairment, Deaf Connections.

Director of operations at Deaf Connections Kath Phipps, said:  “This is a very positive initiative to improve access to services, communication and information to the deaf community in Scotland. We believe accessibility for all will help promote social inclusion and enable people to make more informed choices about their care. Providing important information in an individual’s first and preferred language – such as British Sign Language - is vital to their understanding and decision making, and we hope will allow for a better overall experience for service users and NHS staff alike.”

The new policy ensures that patients who need information in a particular format need simply to ask a member of staff who will arrange for the information they require to be sent to them in the format that suits them best. 

Corporate Inequalities Manager Jac Ross explained:  “NHSGGC produces vast amounts of information each year. The aim of our Accessible Information Policy is to ensure that everyone involved with any of our services or treated in our hospitals or health centres is able to access the information they need in a format that is best for them. 

“All our staff are aware of their responsibilities with regard to producing accessible information and the aim of this important campaign is to make sure that our patients and their carers know of their right to ask for information in a format which suits them.  Access to information which can be clearly understood is critical in allowing people to make informed choices about their healthcare and getting the advice and guidance needed to manage conditions effectively.”

Posters explaining that patients and carers can ask for information in various formats are now available around NHSGGC in hospitals, outpatient clinics and health centres.  If patients or carers let a member of staff know how they would like the information, that member of staff will arrange for leaflets and information in the requested format.

For more information contact the press office, tel:  0141 201 4429 or email:  [email protected]

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