iSightCornwall invited to tour hospital with accessibility partnership

July 15, 2022 3:57 pm

Invited

iSightCornwall team members, Dom and Jodi, inspect the accessible toilet at the hospital. The walls are a bright yellow and the handles black. Jodi is gesturing to one of the handles whilst Dom stands listening whilst holding his white symbol cane.

Members of the iSightCornwall team have been helping to improve accessibility at Cornwall’s largest hospital as part of the newly-formed Accessibility Advisory Group.

Staff members Dom, who is visually impaired himself, and Jodi were invited to tour the new Wheal Vor Ward to give feedback and suggestions to the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust.

Experiences and expertise

They used their experiences and expertise to point out challenges to blind and visually impaired visitors and gave suggestions on how things could be improved including the colours of the walls around the ward, the placement of important buttons and handles and the layout of furniture.

The Accessibility Advisory Group

It was the first time the Accessibility Advisory Group were able to visit the Royal Cornwall Hospital since the group’s formation in early 2022 and since visitor restrictions were lifted.

The visit was timed to coincide with the transfer of intermediate care patients from Wheal Vor Ward at the Royal Cornwall Hospital to St Austell Community Hospital, and we were able to see a ward empty of patients, but still with some beds and equipment.

Charities working together

The group sees members from various charities and organisations across Cornwall, working with DisAbility Alliance and Disability Cornwall to come together to help improve accessibility for all.

This visit saw iSightCornwall team members joined by representatives from Cornwall Mobility, Hearing Loss Cornwall, Active 8 and other charities.

As well as assessing the general accessibility of the new building, the visitors were also shown to one of the hospital’s already existing accessible public toilets.

Feedback

A spokesperson from RCHT said: “We wanted to learn about what we might be doing right, and how could improve access for our staff, patients, and visitors.

“The feedback from our visitors was really positive and involving this group in our future plans for the hospital is much appreciated. It was an excellent learning opportunity for us to watch and understand how some of our patients have to navigate their way into and around our hospital environment.

“We learnt we should not take some things for granted, like the ability to move freely without physical or mental health disabilities and or impairments to overcome.

“Of course, there is much more to learn and improve; but these small, positive steps have already helped to build trust between the hospital and the Accessible Advisory Group, and this provides a firm foundation for our ongoing partnership.”

Improve accessibility

A spokesperson from iSightCornwall said: “We were delighted to be invited to tour one of the new wards at Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske, it was a good learning experience for all and we look forward to continuing to work with Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and DisAbility Cornwall to help improve accessibility for all.”

 

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