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Disabled patients face problems with healthcare

26th March 2015

Following a study of more than 550 GP practices, which included feedback from 11,000 patients, it has been revealed that those with disabilities may be facing significant problems. For example, some patients in Bradford suggested that they had found reception staff unhelpful, with one patient in particular finding herself removed from the dentist’s list altogether.

However, in light of the survey, a number of practices have since introduced further staff training, so that people with disabilities who rely on mobility aids such as home stair lifts receive better care. Some of the main problems that were highlighted by the report include when making appointments and with the communication of staff, although this is now being looked into and improved by NHS Bradford City also.

Solving the difficulties experienced by disabled people in GP practices

The research was put together by Healthwatch England in a publication called ‘Primary Care - A review of local Healthwatch reports’, which combined studies from more than 55 Healthwatch groups. The majority of the feedback showed high rates of satisfaction, although many with disabilities reported significant issues. This included one case of a patient with mental health problems, who described an embarrassing experience at their local GP surgery.

A number of patients also reported that they felt access to certain surgeries was poor, with heavy doors and high reception desks often causing issues. However, a spokesperson for the NHS did suggest that this is often true of older surgeries, as there are building restrictions due to their age.

Bradford Healthwatch has vowed to continue focusing on the concerns of patients in the area, and has also started running ‘Enter and View’ visits run by volunteers, who visit services such as GP surgeries in order to give feedback. The organisation as a whole also hopes to raise the concerns with the Department of Health in order for current services to be reviewed appropriately.

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This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.