If you had learning difficulties, what support is available to help you attend a hospital appointment

We wanted to understand what support is available for people who have learning difficulties when they need to attend a hospital appointment
Report front cover with an illustration of a women being helped to understand documents in front of them by a staff member

Summary

Attending a hospital appointment can be daunting.

If you struggle to read, hear, understand or communicate, these worries can be so much worse. We partnered with East Kent Mencap to visit all three hospitals in East Kent to see for ourselves what support is available for people with learning difficulties. 

Key findings

  • Information has been developed by the Trust, but the majority of staff that we spoke to were not aware of it, so it is not provided to patients.
  • Not all relevant information is suitable for people with learning difficulties.
  • The Trust’s website is not fully accessible.
  • We only met one staff member who was aware of the Trust’s Communication booklet.
  • At the time of our visit, Deaf patients had no way to contact the hospitals about their
  • Outpatients appointments. The only option was on the phone.

We have made a number of recommendations and we will be following up with the hospital to ensure they put actions into place.

Downloads

If you need this report in a different format, please email Healthwatch Kent at info@healthwatchkent.co.uk or call 0800 136 656.

If you had learning difficulties, how easy would it be to attend a hospital appointment in East Kent?
Healthwatch Kent report : if you had learning difficulties, how easy would it be to get to your hospital appointment?

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