Patient Equality and Inclusion

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Patient equality and inclusion means making sure the way we plan and run our services are fair for everyone, so that anyone can use them when they need to.

This means making changes and providing extra support for people with disabilities.

It means providing help for people who don’t speak English as their main language.

It means developing action plans to make improvements in our services.

And it means designing our services in a certain way to help particular groups of people.

Our Equal Opportunities Policy is our policy to make sure we are fair to both patients and staff.

This page tells you what we are doing to make our services fair and inclusive for everyone.

What patient inclusion means to Bridgewater

Patient inclusion is fundamentally important for Bridgewater. This is reflected in our mission and values – improving health and wellbeing in the communities we serve, through patient centred and locally led services.

Within our diverse communities there are groups with particular needs that must be met to allow them to access services and be fully and effectively involved in all aspects of their health and care. Needs could be physical, communication and language, or awareness and understanding. These may be as a result for example of disability, culture, religion, or sexual orientation, or may be particular needs arising from their role as carers or employees.

Our commitments to patient inclusion are set out in our Equal Opportunities Policy.

Communication and language support in services

Good communication is very important for ensuring effective and safe interactions between staff and patients. For people with disabilities affecting communication, or where English is not a person’s first language, this means providing language interpretation and translation, other communication support, and alternative information formats to patients, and, where appropriate, their family members or carers.

The support that can be provided is diverse and includes community languages such as Polish, British Sign Language, Arabic or Urdu; communication support such as speech to text reporters, or Makaton; or alternative information formats such as audio files, easy read, and Braille.

The whole of the NHS, including Bridgewater, is working hard to ensure it meets the legal requirements related to language and communication needs. We are working hard to identify and record these needs for our patients, but we know we are not there yet. You can help us by telling us about any language and communication needs you, or your family member, or the person you provide care for has, asking the service you are using to record this in the patient notes.

Browsealoud – communication and language support on our webpages

We want everyone who visits the Bridgewater website to feel welcome and be able to find the information they need. To help with this the website uses Browsealoud, a free tool for patients to use to read, listen to, or translate the information given on the website.

To use Browsealoud, click on the orange headphone picture in the top right-hand side of the page. This will open the Browsealoud toolbar.

Detailed instructions can be found in the Browsealoud leaflet:

Communication and language support for corporate information

If you need any information from the Trust in another language or format please either contact the service you are using if you query is related to service specific information, or the Patient Services Team for general Trust information:

Telephone Number: 0800 587 0562

TextRelay: 18001 0800 587 0562

Email: Patient.Services@bridgewater.nhs.uk

Webform: http://www.bridgewater.nhs.uk/aboutus/patientservices/

Navajo – supporting our LGBTIQ community

The Trust recognises that for some members of the LGBTIQ community exclusion, lack of awareness and understanding in public services, stereotyping, and homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, has led to inequality and a higher incidence of certain health issues.

Bridgewater is committed to working with our LGBTIQ communities and staff to address issues that lead to exclusion and inequality.

In May 2018 Trust representatives were presented with the Navajo Merseyside and Cheshire Charter Mark at the annual awards ceremony that recognises organisations that demonstrate commitment to improvement and good practice in relation to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTIQ) patients, communities and staff.

We are currently developing our Navajo action plan, this will be part of the Trust’s wider Equality Objectives Action Plan 2018 – 2021. This will be published once finalised on our webpage.

Patient equality and inclusion reports

We produce two reports annually that relate to patient equality and inclusion. The Public Sector Equality Duty Annual Report and EDS2 can be viewed on the Trust webpage.

Future plans

We are currently developing our Equality Objectives Action Plan 2018 – 2021, this action plan will set out how the Trust will further patient equality and inclusion over the next three years. This will be published on our webpage once finalised.


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