By law, under the Equality Act 2010, all health services are required to make reasonable adjustments to make sure they are accessible to all. This duty requires organisations and services to anticipate the needs of disabled people and, where possible, make adjustments to provide the same level of service as for non-disabled patients.

There are three different things organisations may need to do to make it easier for people to access or receive services. This includes changing the way things are done (e.g. allowing longer appointment time at the GP/dentist); changing a physical feature (e.g. installing a ramp or widening doors) or provide an extra aide or service (e.g. provide hearing induction loop or information in large print, braille or providing a BSL translator).

The onus is on the service to remove or reduce factors which may mean that people with Learning Disabilities do not receive health services which are as good as other people.

The primary focus of this work was collecting the experiences people with a learning disability have when accessing health services in particular doctors, dentists and hospitals, and capturing sufficient detail to ensure that this feedback would be useful to service providers. The report also features more general comments, likes, dislikes and ideas for improvement that cannot be attributed to a specific service. These findings are all organised under appropriate headings at the end of the findings section of the report.

Access to Health Services for People with Learning Disabilities – Patient Experience Report

© Healthwatch Derbyshire 2021

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