The Practice will undertake an access audit on an annual basis in order to determine that our services for the disabled remain current and appropriate.
All staff are offered disability training within six months of appointment to ensure that they are able to assist with wheelchairs, partially sighted and blind patients as well as others with special needs.
Patient facilities include:-
- large font Practice Leaflet
- Clear signage
- Access for guide dogs and others assisting special needs
Disabled patients are able to make appointments using the online system as well as the telephone service and face to face access at reception.
Anyone requiring further information regarding our facilities and access can contact the Practice Manager on 020 8295 2464 or in writing.
The Practice has a register of patients with learning disabilities. More information can be found here
DISABILITY ACCESS POLICY (Including Guide Dog Policy)
This document provides the basis for the practice in assessing the needs of its disabled patients, or those with mobility or other requirements to ensure that their access to services is, as far as practicable, maximised.
The practice website will contain a “text only” version of the information presented to aid access by the partially sighted.
The practice website will contain a section for those patients with a disability outlining the facilities available at the Practice and their ease of access to the building based on the findings of the Disability Access Audit (DDA). Consideration will be given to including photographs of relevant access points and facilities.
Disabled patients will be advised on new registration that they are able to telephone the practice from outside on arrival if they require any assistance in accessing the building or its services. Staff will be trained in the appropriate way to help with wheelchairs, partially or non-sighted patients, or those with other special needs.
Clinical staff will assist patients attending for a New Patient Visit including collecting them from the waiting area and escorting them to their consultation as appropriate. Patients benefiting from this will have a major alert message placed on the clinical system record.
Accessible Information Standard (NHS England)
Conforming to the Accessible Information Standard, part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, is a requirement for practices in England as of July 31, 2016. It has been put in place to ensure people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss are able to access and understand any information or communication support they need. The practice works to ensure that patients and service users, and their carers and parents, can access and understand the information they are given.
This includes making sure that people get information in different formats if they need it, for example in large print, braille, easy read or via email. The practice will also make sure that people get any support with communication that they need, for example support from a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, deafblind manual interpreter or an advocate.
The practice will:
- Ask people if they have any information or communication needs, and find out how to meet their needs.
- Record those needs clearly and in a set way.
- Highlight or flag the person’s file or notes so it’s clear that they have information or communication needs, and how to meet those needs.
- Share information about people’s communication needs with other providers of NHS and adult social care, when they have consent or permission to do so.
- Take steps to ensure that people receive information which they can access and understand, and receive communication support if they need it.
Training and Skills
The practice will keep a record of training courses available, for example signing courses, disability awareness, or patient handling, and will support staff willing to attend these. The Practice will seek to have a member of staff on hand with these skills as far as practicable and will maintain a suitable skills register as part of the routine training needs analysis.
All staff will be offered disability training as part of induction skills training within 6 months of recruitment.
The practice will:
- Provide large font practice leaflets
- Promote the Induction Loop system and provide staff training. Loop signs will be clearly displayed in Reception and patients will be asked to indicate if they wish to use this
- Loop refresher training will take place at least annually and within 1 month of new recruit induction.
- Ensure signage is clear and non-obstructive
- Allow guide or other assistance dogs into the premises
- Offer private room facilities if available, for patients who may have communication, reading, or writing difficulties
- Provide a spoken CD version of the practice leaflet
- Provide a spoken CD version of its website information
- Allow disabled patients to make appointments by unusual methods, e.g. text messages, on line booking, or letter. The practice will respond to these requests using the method most appropriate to the needs of the patient.
Checking and Recording
The practice will audit its facilities on an annual basis or at significant changes to the premises (see below).
The results will be recorded within a file maintained for the purpose along with any action plans or other documentation required. The file will maintain a summary report of the access facilities available to disabled patients as detailed above.
The practice will seek to establish contact with appropriate disabled patients with a view to an annual consultation with them regarding disability access, at which time the file will be provided to them for assessment and comments.
GUIDE DOGS / ASSISTANCE DOGS / HEARING DOGS POLICY
It is unlawful for service providers to treat disabled people less favourably for a reason related to their disability, and “reasonable adjustments” for disabled people, such as providing extra help or making changes to the way they provide their services are now required. This includes adjustments to physical features of premises to overcome physical barriers to access for people with disabilities, and facilitating such visitors to use services.
The nature of general practice is such that guide dog / hearing dog (“assistance” dog) access is common and desirable. The purpose of this policy is to set out a few simple principles for dogs on the premises. It is not intended to cover the use of assistance dogs in relation to employees of the practice, which would encompass a wider range of disability employment law considerations.
- The practice welcomes assistance dogs. This includes dogs in training where a “walker” is in control of the dog rather than a disabled owner.
- The practice will manage the presence of assistance dogs without recourse to the owner and will pay particular attention to infection control and housekeeping whilst dogs are on the premises
- Physical contact with a dog by clinical staff will be resisted during consultations or examinations, and whilst a general surgery is in progress
- Hand washing or alcohol hand gel will be used by staff after any physical contact with a dog, whether during a consultation or not
- Care will be taken by clinical staff to identify other patients in the surgery list for that session who have been identified as potentially being adverse clinically to the presence of dogs. This will include patients who:
- are allergic to dogs
- are immunosuppressed
- are phobic to dogs
- have another medical reason.
Consideration will be given to allowing them to wait, or be seen, in an alternative room.
- Cleaning staff will be advised to pay particular attention to a room known to have accommodated a dog that day
- In the event of an incident involving a dog, a significant event record will be created where necessary.
- Owners of assistance dogs will be given the opportunity to “tour” the practice and the grounds with their assistance dog. This will enable the dog to become familiar with routes throughout the building, including those routes seldom used. This will include routes to and from:
- Public / disabled toilets
- Through fire exits and on to assembly areas
- To usual GP and nurse rooms
- Accessing and exiting the building by normal routes
The opportunity for “refresher” practice will be offered on a regular basis
As part of the high level of training an assistance dog receives, there are unlikely to be any incidents giving rise to special concern, and the following aspects of these dogs on the premises are likely to be standard behaviour for these animals:
- Dog will remain on a lead and in close contact with the owner
- The dog will usually lie quietly with the owner when waiting to see a clinician and is trained to behave well in public places
- Dog is unlikely to foul any area not within its usual habit and is trained to go to toilet on command, and will be well-groomed (minimal loose hair)
- The dog will be in good health, physically fit, with vaccinations and care programme up to date
- The dog will wear a special identifying harness and collar tag
- Equal Opportunities Commission