Improving access to Royal Derby Hospital (RDH) services for visually impaired people has been the focus of a joint project between Committed to Equality and Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Work has been carried out to improve access for visually impaired people to the eye clinic in the Kings Treatment Centre at the RDH. Following consultation with visually impaired people in Derbyshire, the Royal Derby Hospital has made changes to help enable people with sight loss to independently access the eye clinic.
There is now a white painted line with eye symbols running from the main entrance, past the bus stop where most visually impaired users disembark and into the Kings Treatment Centre; all signage for the eye clinics have been moved to eye level and have been colour coded in yellow; once inside the Kings Treatment Centre there is a yellow guide line running down the left hand side to the eye clinic; and all obstacles have either been removed or have contrasting painted bands to warn people with reduced vision.
Howard Birchall, who has lived with sight loss for 16 years, was one of the people supporting Committed to Equality and the Royal Derby Hospital. He said: “This is a great example of the co-operation between authorities and the local people they serve. It is important to highlight that so many people with sight loss will be supported by these changes. We hope these actions will inspire other organisations to consider their own accessibility for disabled people.”
Paul Brooks, assistant director of facilities at Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, highlighted how keen his team were to listen to people using the hospital. He said: “We are working hard to improve accessibility for disabled people across our hospitals, and we found working with Committed to Equality to be extremely useful.
They have made some really useful and simple observations which we’ve taken on board and implemented.
“The improvements are now in place and making a difference for patients and visitors. We are, of course, continuing to work together to look at what else we can do for the benefit of local people.”